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Next: Analyst Reaction

A solid first-half performance from Next with the retailer reporting a 10.2% increase in pre-tax profit - Drapers takes a look at what analysts make of this latest performance from the high street stalwart.

“Next continues to defy economic gravity,” said James McGregor, director of the retail consultancy Retail Remedy.

The retailer’s success came from “the brand’s dogged focus on its core strengths and customers”, he added.

“Few of its rivals have the strength and depth in sales channels that Next does. Its Directory range complements rather than apes the lines in the physical stores.”

Investec anaylst Bethany Hocking said the results reinforced her trust in the business.

“We continue to hold Next’s strategy, business model and cash generation ability in high regard,” she said.“We are also of the view that Next has benefited, and may continue to benefit, from a perceived ‘safe haven’ status in an otherwise turbulent sector.”

John Stevenson, analyst at Peel Hunt, advised investors to hold shares although issued a warning that “disappointing sales in August and early September may impact the share price (and Next’s competitors) given the strong run into these results”.

But independent analyst Nick Bubb said the main focus today was on whether Next had maintained its profit guidance for the full-year, which it has.




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