Jan 3, 2019

Next tweaks full-year guidance lower but avoids profit warning

Fashion retailer Next kicked off the festive reporting season with a small downgrade to its full-year profit outlook and is forecasting another slight reduction in profit next year. The reduction in Next's guidance for full-year profit - from £727m to £723m - was a result of lower margins on beauty products in the run-up to Christmas, plus the higher cost associated with fulfilling online orders. Next's guidance is a less drastic reduction than some in the market had feared, but is still a disappointment compared to last year. For the year to January 2019, the company said it expected group profit to be £715m, though it cautioned that this forecast comes with a high degree of uncertainty, not least because of Brexit. Next shares ended 2018 down 10 per cent, mostly because of a steep sell-off in the last two months of the year.

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