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Next raises profit guidance as first half sales soar

Next has increased its full year profit guidance by £25m to between £775m and £815m as sales for the first half soared by 10.7%.

Next’s retail sales were up 7.5% for the 26 weeks to July 26, while Next Directory sales, which includes online, increased by 16.2%.

As a result the high street chain is raising its guidance for revenue growth to between 7% and 10%, up from the estimated 5.5% to 9% full year growth forecast by the company in April. Profits will rise 11-17%, up from the 8-14% predicted previously.

However growth in the next six months is expected to be between 4% and 10%, with Next noting the final quarter of 2014 will be up against a “challenging comparison”.

The trading statement said: “It might appear overly cautious to forecast a full year sales range which is below our current rate of growth. However, last year’s first two quarters were hampered by a particularly cold spring and Easter which presented a soft comparison for this year… last year sales progressively improved through the year and that the final quarter presents a challenging comparison. This pattern makes estimating second half sales
particularly difficult.”


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