Chief executive of Next sells £3.8m shares

Kasmira Jefford
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NEXT chief executive Lord Simon Wolfson sold 125,000 of the clothing retailer’s shares after the close of trading on Tuesday, sparking a sell-off in the firm’s shares yesterday as traders followed suit.

Wolfson sold the shares at 3,057p each, banking more than £3.8m, which sent shares in the company down four per cent last night to 2,937p. Wolfson, who has been chief executive of Next since 2001, has only sold stock three times in the last seven years, most recently in March 2007, when he sold a similar amount of stock representing about 10 per cent of his holding.

The retailer has been one of the best performing stocks of the FTSE 100 over the past two years and Wolfson’s decision is being interpreted by analysts as a sign that the shares may have reached their peak.