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Next share price rallies as retailer hikes full-year guidance

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Shares in Next (LON:NXT) have surged in London this morning as the blue-chip retailer posted a rise in interim sales and hiked its full-year guidance. The update comes after the company had previously warned of losses in August, which, however, did not materialise.

As of 08:44 BST, Next’s share price had added 8.16 percent to 5,542.00p. The stock is lending support to the blue-chip FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.08 percent higher at 7,464.68 points. The group’s shares have added more than eight percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.4-percent gain in the Footsie.

Next posts interim results

Next said in a statement this morning that its full-price sales had climbed 4.5 percent year-on-year in the half-year ended July, ahead of the group’s guidance of one percent in January and ahead of May’s 2.2-percent guidance.

“When we issued our August Trading Statement we believed that there was a high risk that the sales gained in July would be offset by losses in August. As it turned out, we did not experience any material loss of sales in August or early September,” the blue-chip retailer commented, adding that as a result, it was raising its central guidance for full year profit before tax by £10 million to £727 million, broadly in line with the group’s last year's profit of £726.1 million.

Analysts weigh in on update

“This was better stuff from Next as the company did not suffer loss of sales in August as feared,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com commented, as quoted by Proactive Investors. “This chimes with the indicators from the official retail sales figures that indicated a recovery in real incomes combined with the hot summer has helped retailers.”

As of 09:01 BST, Tuesday, 25 September, NEXT plc share price is 5,516.00p.

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