JOHN STEVENSON | PEEL HUNT
Next has delivered second half trading in keeping with sales and profit before tax forecasts overall, albeit store sales were slightly disappointing given the weak snow comparative. As a likely outperformer, Next’s statement does not set a positive tone for competitor updates.
MATTHEW MCEACHRAN | SINGER CAPITAL MARKETS
Although margin and cost management means hitting full year consensus, trading over the peak period appears to have been weaker than feared in retail. Coupled with concerns about employment this has led management to issue cautious guidance for 2013 which may lead to downgrades of around three per cent.
JONATHAN JACKSON | KILLIK & CO
Given the group’s strong trading performance over the past year and greater exposure to online sales relative to its peers, Next has traded at a premium to the sector. However, following today’s statement we expect modest downgrades to consensus estimates.