Next sounds note of caution despite 10% profit rise
Next, the high street fashion retailer, saw its pre-tax profits increase by 10.2% in its first half as profitable new stores and strong online sales growth offset a decline in retail like-for-like sales.
In the six months to end July, pre-tax profits reached £251 million while revenue was up 4.8% to £1.64 billion.
A decline in like-for-like sales hit profits by £18 million but this was offset by the addition of £14 million from new profitable space and £26 million from online sales which jumped 13.3% to £551.7 million.
The company said its retail sales were slightly ahead of plan rising by 0.2% in the period with new space adding 3.7%.
Next said it was on track to meet market expectations and maintain the full year financial guidance given in its August trading statement, with sales, profits and earnings per share all moving forward on last year.
However it said it remained cautious about the economic outlook following disappointing sales in an "unusually quiet" period in August and early September.
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