REPORT_ Next Brand sales for the first thirteen weeks of the financial year were up 10.8 percent, of which 2.2 percent came from the opening of new space. Next Retail sales were up 8.8 percent and Directory sales were up 13.7 percent. Sales are currently ahead of the 4 percent-8 percent full year guidance, company provided in March and now it is increasing the sales guidance for the full year to 5.5 percent-9.5 percent.
Next also announced that its mid-point of new profit before tax guidance is now 770 million pounds (1,295.4 million dollars) and accordingly it is increasing buy back price limit, in line with this guidance, to 64 pounds (107.6 dollars).
At the company’s AGM on May 15, a final ordinary dividend of 93p will be proposed, making 129p for the year. Subject to shareholder approval, this will be paid on August 1. So the total of dividends to be paid on August 1 will be the 93p final ordinary dividend and a 50p special interim dividend, making 1.43 pounds (2.40 dollars) in total.