John Lewis raises its guidance for the full-year profit
- John Lewis raises its guidance for the full-year profit.
- The UK firm reported a loss in the fiscal first half.
- Next withdraws from bidding on Arcadia Group’s brands.
John Lewis Partnership said on Friday that trading during the Christmas period was better than expected. On the back of its hawkish performance, it also raised its guidance for the full-year profit on Friday.
John Lewis said that the robust performance in the recent period was primarily attributed to its Waitrose supermarket chain. The London-headquartered company also resorted to e-commerce in recent months to cater to people restricted to their homes due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis that has so far infected more than 3.4 million people in the United Kingdom and caused over 94 thousand deaths.
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In its earlier guidance in September, the high-end department stores chain had forecast a range of small loss to a small profit for its fiscal 2020/21. On Friday, it expressed confidence that its annual profit was likely to come in better than previously expected.
John Lewis had reported a loss in the fiscal first half
John Lewis lifted its guidance despite the newly imposed restrictions from PM Johnson’s government in the last two months of 2020. The company acknowledged the consequent impact on its department stores, but said that supermarkets like Waitrose followed larger rivals, including Sainsbury’s and Tesco, in their footsteps and posted robust trading in recent months.
In an earlier report published in September, John Lewis had blamed the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as it reported £635 million of loss in the fiscal first half. The British firm also said on Friday that it is expected to repay £300 million of COVID-19 financial aid that it took from the government, sooner than initially estimated.
John Lewis is scheduled to publish its full-year results on 11th March. According to the company:
“Despite the headwinds of the lasts year when John Lewis stores were closed for several months, and future trading volatility, the Partnership believes it has sufficient liquidity going forward.”
Next plc withdraws from bidding on Arcadia Group’s brands
In separate news from the United Kingdom, Next plc (LON: NXT) said it had withdrawn from bidding on Arcadia Group’s brands as it failed to meet the price expectations.
Next is currently more than 2% down on the intraday chart. The stock remained almost flat on average last year with an annual gain of roughly 2% only. Next plc is currently trading at a per-share price of £79.60. At the time of writing, it has a market capitalisation of £10.58 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 31.01.