May 10, 2018

Next and Morrisons defy downturn as sales rise

The recent spells of hot weather have led to stronger than expected sales at Next, leading the fashion retailer to raise its full-year profit forecast. Full-price sales for the 14 weeks to 7 May rose 6%, and Next lifted its profit forecast from £705m to £717m. However, the drift away from the High Street continued, with store sales down 4.8% while online sales jumped 18.1%. Separately, supermarket chain Morrisons also reported better-than-expected sales growth for the past three months. Morrisons said group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, rose 3.6% in the 13 weeks to 6 May, the 10th consecutive quarter of growth. Sales at Morrisons have now risen for 10 quarters in a row, as the recovery at the UK's fourth biggest supermarket chain continues. The company said retail sales had risen by 1.8% while its wholesale business also saw sales grow by 1.8%. Morrisons said it was "Now open for business as a wholesaler", and had started supplying its new partner McColl's during the quarter.

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