Shares in Next (LON:NXT) have jumped more than seven percent in London in today’s session, as the retailer delivered a rise in sales for the 14 weeks to May 7. The blue-chip group further hiked its sales and profit forecasts for the financial year to January 2019.
As of 13:42 BST, Next’s share price had added 7.32 percent to 5,630.00p, lending support to the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.13 percent higher at 7,672.26 points. The group’s shares have added more than 31 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near four-percent rise in the Footsie.
Next posts quarterly results
Next revealed in a statement today that its full-brand sales had climbed six percent year-on-year in the 14 weeks to May 7, with an 18.1-percent rise in online sales helping offset a 4.8-percent drop in retail.
“Sales in the first quarter were better than we expected and around £40 million ahead of our internal forecast, boosted in recent weeks by unusually warm weather,” the blue-chip retailer said in the statement.
Going forward, the company expects to achieve 2.2-percent growth in full-year sales, as compared with a previous forecast of a one-percent rise. The retailer also hiked its profit before tax guidance to £717 million from previous expectations for £705 million, while reiterating its forecast for £300 million of surplus cash which it intends to return to investors by way of share buybacks.
Analysts weigh in on update
“Whilst April was a solid month for the clothing market […], February and March in particular were tough. Hence this represents a very solid performance in our view,” the Financial Times quoted JPMorgan Cazenove as saying. “We would be cautious to read this performance across to the wider sector given the stock specific soft comparatives and support from online.”