Next Holds Profit Forecast as Sales Climb in First Quarter

Next Holds Profit Forecast as Sales Climb in First Quarter

Next PLC, a prominent UK fashion retailer, has reported a 5.7% increase in full-price sales for the first quarter, exceeding its earlier guidance for a 5% rise. This performance is also a step up from the previous year's growth of 4%. The company's online sales surged by 8.8%, while retail sales in physical stores remained flat.

Despite the positive first-quarter results, Next has kept its full-year profit forecast unchanged. The retailer anticipates a profit before tax of £960 million for the fiscal year 2024/25, which would mark an increase from the £918 million reported in the previous year. Additionally, Next projects an overall annual sales growth of 6%, which is 3.5% higher than previously expected.

However, the company has tempered expectations for the second quarter, predicting a 0.3% fall due to wet spring weather, which contrasts with the warm weather experienced during the same period last year. For the third quarter, Next forecasts a 2.5% increase in sales. CEO Simon Wolfson attributed the strong first-quarter growth in part to weather conditions and the timing of acquisitions. Despite the fluctuating quarterly expectations, Next's annual guidance remains steady.


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