REPORT_ While on September 30, Next had said that it expected to reduce its sales and profits if colder weather did not materialise during October. Since October remained warm, company said sales for the third quarter were up 5.4 percent, compared to its original expectation of over 10 percent. In its interim statement, company said that if a cool August meant that the season started well, it was more than offset by much weaker sales in September and October.
Given the volatility of current trading and the very strong fourth quarter performance last year, company has moderated its expectations for the fourth quarter this year. It is now budgeting for full price sales in the final quarter to be within a range of below 2 percent to over 4 percent, with central profit forecast for the year based on final quarter sales of over 1 percent. This compares to initial fourth quarter expectation of over 4 percent and implies that full year total sales will now be in the range of over 6 percent to over 8 percent compared to previous figures of over 7 percent to over 10 percent.
Next has also reduced its central profit guidance by 3 percent to 770 million pounds (124.2 million dollars). Its new profit range is 750 million pounds to 790 million pounds (121.1 to 127.4 million dollars), which would represent an increase over last year of between over 8 percent and over 14 percent. The company plans to issue its sales update for the period to December 24, 2014 on Tuesday December 30, 2014.