Next first quarter sales jump as it maintains profit guidance


Next first quarter sales up as it remains on track to deliver profits rise

Next has maintained its profit guidance for the year after its sales jumped 21.3% in its first quarter.

The retailer said this was in line with expectations and is still on track for pre-tax profit to hit £850 million for the year, which is up 3.3% on last year.

Next had edged down its profit forecasts by £10 million for the year at the time of its full-year results in March due to the “unusually high level of geopolitical and economic uncertainty”.

The retailer’s impressive sales jump comes against a period when its shops were closed during lockdown for much of the first quarter.

Sales from Next’s retail stores were up 285% on last year but against it’s 2019/20 year – the most recent year not impacted by Covid – retail sales were down 8%.

Ecommerce sales were down 11% year on year, as store closures drove people online last year. Against three years ago, online was up 47%.

Label, Next’s third-party branded online business, was the star performer online, up 20% year-on-year, or 106% against pre-Covid levels. 

By comparison, Next’s own brand online business was down 24% year on year in the UK, but up 23% on pre-Covid levels. 

Over the period, Next bought a minority stake in baby products retailer JoJo Maman BéBé. 

Next expects total full-price sales to be up between 2% and 8% in its current year, and profits to fall between £795 million and £895 million.

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