Apr 1, 2021

Next predicts higher than expected full-year profit

Next anticipates its full-year profits to be better than expected but has ruled out paying a dividend until the outlook, especially for its store sales, is clearer. The retailer estimates it will make about £700m in profit in the current financial year, which would be about the same as it reported in the year to January 2020 and about £30m higher than its previous estimate. It expected revenue to remain flat on 2020 - the last full financial year before the Covid-19 pandemic struck - but the three-month extension of the UK government's business rates holiday in addition to better than expected online sales this year would boost profit. Online sales were up more than 60 per cent in the first eight weeks of this financial year compared with two years ago, offsetting the impact of a longer than expected lockdown. In the year to January, the company said pre-tax profit of £342m was in line with its previous guidance.

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