In the eight weeks leading up to December 25, Next plc’s full-price sales are up 20% from two years ago. That, the company said, was £ 70million ahead of its previous forecast for the period.
For the full year, Next now expects full-price sales growth of 12.8% from 2019/20, £ 70million ahead of previous forecast. The company raised its forecast for pre-tax profit for the full year from £ 22million to £ 822million based on full-price sales in January, up 12% from a year ago is two years old.
Next reports strong exchanges. The company’s initial forecast for the year ending January 2023, for full-price sales, was to be up 7% from the current year. Next estimates pre-tax profit will rise 4.6% to £ 860million.
The company added that the full-price sales growth of 7% from 2021/22, represents a compound annual growth of 6.5% from 2019/20, which was the last year not affected by Covid. The forecast reflects very strong growth in the first quarter, when stores were closed in 2021, and anticipates much weaker year-over-year growth in the last three quarters of 2022, with comparative figures improving as 2021.
The company expected sales growth in the fourth quarter to be lower than in the third quarter. However, a strong rebound in Next-brand adult and formal wear improved sales throughout the last period.
As Christmas approached, the company’s inventory levels were significantly lower than expected and it also experienced some deterioration in delivery service levels due to labor shortages in warehouse networks. and distribution. The company further said that the fact that our sales have remained so strong under these circumstances is a testament to the strength of underlying consumer demand during the period.
Next declares special dividend The company’s board of directors has declared another special dividend of 160p per share payable at the end of January 2022.
Next intends to return to the regular dividend cycle from before the pandemic in the coming year.