REPORT Next brand full price sales for the first half of the financial year were up 3.5 percent, of which 1.7 percent came from the opening of profitable new space. Full price sales for Next Retail were up 0.8 percent and Next Directory was up 7.5 percent. Total sales including markdown sales were up 3.3 percent. Total stock for the end-of-season sale was up 4.8 percent on last year, while clearance rates were lower than last year but in line with the company’s internal forecasts.
Sales were better than expected and marginally ahead of the 0 percent to 3 percent guidance range provided in March. Improvements experienced at the end of the season were mainly driven by warmer weather. The company has increased the mid-point of its full year profit guidance by 1.9 percent from 810 million pounds (1,281.6 million dollars) to 825 million pounds (1,284.9 million dollars). Full year sales guidance range has been increased and is now 3.5 percent to 6 percent. This increase is as a result of the better sales achieved in the first half of the year, but no change has been made to second half sales forecast.
Next also intends to pay a further special dividend of 60 pence per share on November 2, 2015.