Next raises profit forecast after Christmas sales rose 5%

Next raises profit forecast, reveals sales over Christmas rose 5%

Next has announced that its total full price sales, including interest income, rose 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the period from October 27 to December 28.

Reporting back over the majority of its final quarter, Next’s total sales were 1.1 per cent ahead of its internal forecast compared to third quarter growth of 2 per cent.

The fashion retailer noted a much colder November and stock availability across its retail stores and online had helped sales.

“We believe our sales performance in the period was helped by a much colder November than last year and improved stock availability in both our retail stores and online,” Next said in its statement Friday.

As the first major retailer to report back on the peak trading period, Next increased its full year profit guidance by £2 million to £727 million, pushing it up 0.6 per cent on last year’s results.

The high street stalwart forecast earnings per share growth of 5.4 per cent. It will post its full year preliminary results on March 19.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the former Next chief executive, Sir David Jones, had died at the age of 76.

Jones was credited for rescuing Next and turning it into a powerhouse at a time when it was on the brink of collapse in the 1990s.