How we use Cookies

Next weathers high street conditions to increase sales

Next posted a 3.9% rise in sales for November and December today as the retailer weathered the difficult conditions on the high street.

Next posted a 3.9% rise in sales for November and December today as the retailer weathered the difficult conditions on the high street.

Shares opened 4% higher after the chain said the festive performance meant it was on track for profits growth at the top end of expectations.

The group was driven by a strong online performance, with Directory revenues up by 11.2% between November 1 and December 24. Store sales were better than many City expectations, at 0.8% higher than a year ago.

Despite the progress, chief executive Simon Wolfson warned trading conditions were likely to remain difficult this year as wage growth continues to lag behind inflation.

He said: "On balance, we expect the consumer environment to remain subdued but steady."

John Lewis yesterday kicked off the festive trading updates with a 13% hike in like-for-like sales after a record pre-Christmas week and a milestone online performance.

Next said group pre-tax profits for the year to January were now expected to jump by between 7.1% and 9.6%, taking the figure to between £611m and £625m.

It said the better-than-expected performance reflected cost controls, less marked-down stock in the end of the season sale and better margins.

 

Journalists

Dan Warburton
Chief News Reporter
David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Adrian Pearson
Regional Affairs Correspondent
Angela Upex
Head of Business
Mark Douglas
Chief Sports Writer
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer