Nov 1, 2017

Opening Quote: Next not so sure what happens next

Analysts at HSBC may be both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised - they had forecast 1.8 per cent total growth in sales, but with with Directory only up 10 per cent and high street store sales down 5.3 per cent. Year-to-date sales are now down 0.3 per cent, but that is in line with Next's central guidance for the full year. Kantar clothing sales data to end-August showed that Next gained full-price market share for the first time in 18 months. Revenues for the three months to September 30 were up 9 per cent from the same period last year, or 8 per cent at constant currencies, to £440m. That was driven by a 12 per cent jump in revenues from retail stores - which could be hit by those government changes to maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals. As a result, underlying earnings before nasties were up 7 per cent to £121m - or 9 per cent at constant currencies.

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