May 6, 2021

Retailer Next raises full-year guidance as sales pick up

Fashion retailer Next upgraded its full-year profit forecast slightly as sales surged after shops were allowed to reopen when coronavirus-induced restrictions were eased. Sales in the past three weeks have been significantly ahead of last year. As a result, pre-tax profit for the year to January 2022 is expected to be £20m higher at £720m. The modest size of the upgrade was because the company has not assumed the "Exceptional" improvement in sales in the first quarter will continue through the rest of the year. "Evidence from last year suggests that this post-lockdown surge will be shortlived, and we expect sales to settle back down to our guidance levels within the next few weeks," Next said. UK online sales climbed 63 per cent while sales at Label, the company's marketplace for third-party brands, rose 71 per cent.

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