Miranda Dobson

Member Article

Next “remain cautious” despite unexpected profit rise

British retailer Next has reported unexpected profits in their half year results after a boost from online sales.

Next said its profits rose 10.2% like-for-like up to a total of £251m, while revenue increase by 4.8% to £1,640m.

Despite successful returns for the first six months up to July 2012, the company warned that August and September have been “unusually quiet” and they “remain cautious”.

The company’s warning sent shares down 6.98% in early morning trading, after Next said the half yearly results would not greatly affect their expectations for the second half.

Profitable new selling space and internet sales bolstered growth in the business to offset a decline in retail sales.

Next’s report said: “We are on track to meet market expectations and maintain the full year financial guidance given in our August trading statement, with sales, profits and earnings per share all moving forward on last year.”

The store suggested that extended Sunday trading laws were a positive step for UK retailers.

“On balance, our view is that additional trading hours will be most beneficial on the busiest Sundays. It was notable that we had no difficulty in finding volunteers for the additional hours of work, which were appreciated by many as an opportunity to increase earnings.

“We would welcome some relaxation of Sunday trading laws, particularly in the run up to Christmas when shoppers are most pressed for time.”

Next increased its interim dividend by 12.7% to 31 pence per share, while earnings per share improved 18.7% to 118.5 pence.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Miranda Dobson .

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