Next's share price is riding high after its trading update - but analysts' reactions are a mixed bag

Helen Cahill
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Next showed no sign of being hit by Brexit in its results (Source: Getty)

The markets have responded positively to Next's second quarter update this morning, after the company announced sales were up 1.8 per cent so far this year - but analysts' reactions have been mixed.

Augustin Eden, a research analyst at Accendo Markets said investors "shrugged off a disappointing trading update" as Next's share price rose after the announcement - at time of writing, the share price had risen 3.90 per cent to 5,330p.

Read more: No sign of Brexit fallout at retailer Next - but prices will have to rise next year

Investec analyst Alistair Davies said the update "provides some short-term reassurance given an improvement in the performance of clothing", but added: "We retain a cautious stance on the stock given ongoing pressures within the credit book and risk that poses of offsetting growth elsewhere." The bank has a sell rating for Next with a target price of 4,900p.

James McGregor, a partner at retail consultants Retail Remedy, said Next "can't do anything" about the weather or Brexit, which are affecting all businesses, and needs to focus on strategy in its trading updates instead of external factors.

McGregor said:

The constant references to the weather and its impact on sale in Next's trading updates should be a signal that something different needs to happen internally to mitigate what happens externally.

Read more: Retailers rocked by sales shocker

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "So far Next has hardly seen any adverse impact from the referendum, but like many retailers it faces higher costs for the goods it sources from abroad, thanks to the devaluation of sterling.

"Competition is coming from all angles, with online-only players like Boohoo and ASOS taking market share, while traditional retailers like Debenhams have significantly raised their game in recent times.

3 August 2016 @ 11:00amNext (NXT)

"Next are responding by seeking to improve their mobile app and modernise their online proposition, which is likely to be a key determinant of success for the foreseeable future."

Nicla di Palma, retail analyst at Brewin Dolphin, said: "The depreciation of sterling will have an impact on costs (Next buys its cotton and polyester in US dollars and produces in Far East countries) although this impact is likely to be lower than we expected due to mitigating factors, namely better efficiencies, the weakness of Far East currencies vs the dollar and more competition amongst suppliers.

"We do not think Next will be able to increase its selling prices due to the competitive situation in the UK clothing market and the weakness of the UK consumer."