Next enjoys online boost
Thursday 31 October 2013
Next shares jumped 4 per cent yesterday after the UK's second biggest clothing retailer said it would beat its sales expectations for the year.
Despite the unseasonably warm weather this autumn, Next revealed that its sales have risen for 10 of the last 13 weeks of trading, with September performing particularly well.
The boost comes a month after its chief executive, Lord Wolfson, warned that shoppers were suffering because inflation was outstripping wage rises, and called on the Government to do more to help customers.
Other clothing retailers have suffered in the last few month as customers delayed buying winter wardrobes due to the weather; yet Next saw sales rise by £30m in the first three weeks of September compared with the same period a year ago.
As a result, full-year profits could be up by as much as 9.4 per cent, to £680m, with sales up by as much as 3.8 per cent. Next said strong results could see an additional £50m spent on share buybacks.
In the third quarter, sales rose 4.3 per cent, helped by a 10.7 per cent rise in online and Next Directory catalogue sales. High street sales across the company's 500 stores across the UK and Ireland, along with 200 stores in 30 countries overseas, were up 0.4 per cent.
Shares in Next rose 245p to close at 5,450p.
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