Fashion retailer Next has reported a slight and unexpected rise in third quarter sales, with full-price retail sales nosing up 3.1% in stores. Online, however, was down 1.9%.
In the 13 weeks to 29 October full price sales were up 0.4% versus last year. This was slightly ahead of our expectations. Next says that it is maintaining its guidance for full year profit before tax at £840m, up +2.1% versus last year. Based on this profit guidance, Earnings Per Share of 554.5p would be up +4.5% versus last year.
The retailer saw a particularly strong week at the end of September, where sales were up 11%, driven by cold weather prompted shoppers to buy autumn clothes.
In a short trading update the business said: “Full price sales in the last five weeks have been up 1.4%, boosted by one particularly strong week at the end of September, when temperatures dropped and sales of heavier weight products improved.”