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Next share price rises as Q1 sales benefit from warm weather

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Shares in Next (LON:NXT) have opened higher in London this Wednesday, as the company posted better-than-expected sales, having benefitted from a warm weather spell earlier this year. The group, however, left its full-year guidance unchanged.

As of 08:01 BST, Next’s share price had added 1.18 percent to 5,834.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index standing 0.32 percent higher at 7,441.73 points. The group’s shares have added just under 10 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 1.2-percent drop in the Footsie.

Next posts results

Next announced in a statement this morning that its total full-price sales had climbed 4.5 percent in the 13 weeks to April 27, ahead of the group’s internal forecast for a 3.2-percent gain. The company attributed the result to the unusually warm weather over the Easter holiday period, which benefitted the group’s retail stores.

The retailer, however, noted that it did not believe that the upbeat performance during the quarter could be extrapolated for the remainder of the year.

“The over performance in the first quarter amounted to sales of around £10 million,” Next elaborated, adding that “given this is a relatively small number in the context of annual sales, we believe it is too early to revise our full year sales and profit guidance”.

The company also reiterated its plans to return £300 million in surplus cash to shareholders by way of buybacks.

Analysts on Next

The 19 analysts offering 12-month targets for the Next share price for the Financial Times have a median target of 5,225.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 6,370.00p and a low estimate of 4,100.00p. As of April 27, the consensus forecast amongst 23 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip retailer advises investors to hold their position in the company.

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