Sep 29, 2021

Next forecasts highest annual profit since 2016

Next has upgraded its forecast for the fourth time this year, predicting its full-year profit would rise to a five-year high, after trading "Materially exceeded expectations" in the first half. The fashion and homeware chain expects pre-tax profit for 2021 to rise to £800m, its highest level since 2016. Full-price sales in the first half were up 62 per cent compared with a year earlier and were 8 per cent ahead of the equivalent period in 2019. Over the most recent eight-week period, sales were a fifth higher than pre-pandemic levels, against expectations of a 6 per cent increase for the second half as a whole. "The positive sales trend has continued through August into the second half, despite significant stock shortages caused by Covid-19 disruption to international supply chains," it added.

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