ENDERBY (dpa-AFX) - Retailer Next plc (NXT.L), in its trading statement, reported that full price sales in the 54 days from November 1 to December 24 were up 1.5% from last year, an improvement on the company's November guidance which was negative 0.3%.
Citing the better than expected full price sales, the company marginally upgraded profit guidance. The central guidance for Group profit increases 8 million pounds to 725 million pounds and profit guidance range is now 718 million pounds to 732 million pounds.
Full-year group profit before tax is now expected to be down 8.3 percent and earnings per share to be down 5.7 percent, compared to previous estimates of down 9.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
Total full price sales for the year is now expected to improve 0.3 percent, compared to previously expected drop of 0.3 percent.
The company noted that both channels experienced an improvement in sales in the 54 days period. Retail sales was down 6.1 percent while Online business performed particularly well with sales growth of 13.6 percent. The company believes part of this improvement has been down to much colder weather leading up to Christmas.
Further, the company is budgeting for full price sales next year to be between down 2% and up 4%. The mid-point of up 1% represents a modest improvement on this year's anticipated growth of 0.3%.
Next said it is very early to be issuing profit guidance for the year ahead, but if sales do grow at 1%, it estimates that Group profit would be around 705 million pounds. This is marginally down on the current year as it expects operational costs to continue to grow faster than sales.
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