Next reiterates profit guidance
Sales at Next’s retail stores fell 3.9% in the 13 weeks to 28 April from a year earlier. However sales at its Directory division, which includes online and catalogue sales, increased by 11.8%. Total sales in the quarter were up 1.4%, of which net sales from new store space accounted for 2.9% of the total sales growth.
The retailer is forecasting that profit before tax will be between £560 million and £610 million for the full year. The company said in a statement: "To reiterate, we believe that if sales were up between +1% and +4% for the full year, then profits would be between £560 million and £610 million. This is in line with market expectations and the majority of analyst forecasts fall within this range."
Next said there had been little change in its product costs, gross margins and selling prices in the first quarter and expects this to continue into the second quarter. Stock levels are running slightly ahead of last year and are consistent with the growth in sales, the company said.
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