Fashion retailer Next has reported a 2.3 per cent rise in total brand sales in the first half of the year – in line with the guidance range of a one to four per cent increase issued in March.
However, a much smaller end of season sale dragged down total sales, which were up 3.7 per cent before the sale began on 12 July. The store noted that consumers were becoming “more spontaneous in their purchasing habits”, leading to high levels of weekly sales volatility driven by short term events like the weather, bank holidays and school holidays.
Next is issuing a second half sales guidance of one to four per cent growth again, which would bring full year sales figures to 1.5 to 3.5 per cent growth.
Pre-tax group profit expectations have been revised upwards thanks to a £10m boost in first half profits driven by strong full price sales and lower markdown. Next now expects to take in £635m to £675m – up from £615m to £665m predicted in March.