UK retailer Next raises earnings outlook again, Retail News, ET Retail


LONDON: UK clothing retailer Next on Wednesday raised its full-year profit outlook for the fourth time in six months, announcing a 5.9% increase in first-half profits over two years, benefiting from a strong trade since COVID-19 restrictions ended.

Next, which trades in around 500 stores as well as online, made a pre-tax profit of 347 million pounds ($ 474 million) in the six months to July, on full-price sales up by 8.8% from 2019 – before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to disrupt trade.

The group said full-price sales over the past eight weeks were up 20% from 2019, far exceeding expectations.

It raised its full-price sales forecast for the remainder of 2021-22 to 10%, from 6% previously, and its pre-tax profit forecast to 800 million pounds, 36 million pounds ahead of its expectations. previous forecasts.

Next has shown great resilience during the pandemic, benefiting from its long-established and well-invested online operations.

Competitors with weaker or no online business, including Primark, saw sharp declines in sales. Others, like Topshop owner Arcadia and Debenhams have gone bankrupt.

Shares of Next, up 37% from a year ago, closed at 8,080 pence on Tuesday, valuing the company at £ 10.9 billion.

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