In the thirteen weeks to April 29, 2023, full price sales at Next plc were down 0.7 percent versus last year, moderately ahead of the company’s guidance for this period - it expected a 2 percent drop.
The British high street giant said it is maintaining its sales and profit guidance for the full year, with pre-tax profit forecast to be 795 million pounds and earnings per share (EPS) of 501.9 pence.
The company said that total trading sales, including markdown and clearance sales, were up 1.2 percent versus last year, driven by higher clearance sales.
Next lowers Q2 guidance
To maintain its first half forecast, the retailer said it has moderated its sales forecast for the second quarter, which is now expected to be 5 percent down on last year compared to previous guidance of down 4 percent.
The company said in a statement: “This adjustment seems reasonable, as some of the first quarter’s success, particularly in holiday clothing sales leading up to Easter, might have been pulled forward from the second quarter.
“Shareholders might wonder why we are so cautious for sales in Q2. As we explained in March, the second quarter last year benefited from unusually warm weather and pent-up demand for events such as weddings, proms etc.”
The retail giant has already been busy this year as it continues to expand its high street empire. The company announced last month plans to relaunch Joules - which it rescued from administration last year - “much earlier than expected”, bringing the date forward from March 2024 to October 2023.
Meanwhile in March, the company announced plans to acquire fashion and lifestyle brand Cath Kidston.