Next shares soar as it returns to sales growth after warm weather boost | City & Business | Finance


The fashion retailer, which had previously admitted coming unstuck after chasing a more fashionable range while neglecting its “heartland” products such as women’s blouses, lifted full-price sales by 0.7 per cent. 

An 11.4 per cent rise in sales at its Directory catalogue and internet business contrasted with a 7.4 per cent drop in stores. 

The company said it had made “improvement in our product ranges”. 

But it added in a statement: “We believe most of the increase in full-price sales is due to the much warmer weather and, to a lesser degree, lower markdown sales in the end-of-season sale.”

Peel Hunt analyst Jonathan Pritchard said the results “should have highly positive consequences for the shares and the sector”.

“We think that management is being a little modest when playing down the importance of better ranges in the improved performance, but Next is definitely right to flag the better weather as a factor.

“From a lowly price-earnings ratio, those shares should enjoy forthcoming sessions, as should the sector as a whole: it is not all doom and gloom and the right product at the right price is selling well.”

Shares rose 388p to 4401p.

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