Next sales grow as online business outperforms

Next has reported that its autumn and pre-Christmas sales grew after buoyant online business trading.Next sales grow as online business outperformsTotal sales at the clothes retailer between 1 August and 24 December rose 3.1% compared with a year earlier, ignoring the effect of rising VAT.

However it’s Next Directory sales grew by 16.9%.

But its High Street business, which sees some two-thirds of sales, recorded a 2.7% fall, sending Next’s share price 3.1% lower by the close of trading in London.

Next has seen its share price rise 39% over the past 12 months, easily outperforming a 5% fall in the broader FTSE 100 index.

Next reconfirmed its full year profits forecast at £565 million, narrowing the range to plus or minus £7 million.

The total sales growth figure of 3.1% was in the middle of its previous guidance of 2.5% to 4%, despite the “slightly disappointing” numbers from its 500 stores.

Next expressed uncertainty in its statement as to why the High Street performance had been so weak, particularly considering that last year’s sales had been hurt by cold weather.

One possibility cited in its statement was its long-standing policy of not cutting the price of its products in the run-up to Christmas.

Next said it was cautiously optimistic about its end of season sales – which began after the end of its latest reporting period – and expected results to be slightly ahead of budget.

The retailer said it expected sales this year to be helped by a probable freeze in the price of its products.

It forecast generating £200 million surplus cash in the year ahead, which it said it would return to shareholders via share buybacks.

January 10, 2012  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Building Businesses, Business Development, Business Growth, Business Profits, Business Sales, Business Win, Growing Business, Online Marketing, Technological Businesses, Uncategorized, Winning Business

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