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InvestmentsNext's online strength drives 17% sales rise in latest quarter By Reuters

Next’s online strength drives 17% sales rise in latest quarter By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A girl walks below promoting outdoors a department of clothes retailer Next in London, Britain September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

By James Davey

LONDON (Reuters) – British clothes retailer Next beat steerage with a 17% rise in third-quarter full-price sales in comparison with 2019, earlier than the pandemic disrupted buying and selling, however maintained its full-year revenue steerage because it expects sales development to gradual.

Next, which trades from about 500 shops and online, stated on Wednesday the influence of pandemic pent-up demand was prone to proceed to decrease.

It stated inventory availability had improved since September however remained “challenging”, with delays in its worldwide provide chain being compounded by labour shortages in the UK transport and warehousing networks.

Next stated that thus far inventory limitations had been offset by robust underlying demand.

“Although consumer finances are in good shape, price increases in essential goods (such as fuel) may moderate demand for more discretionary purchases,” it added.

Next had reported in September that full-price sales in the primary eight weeks of its fiscal third quarter had risen 20%.

It stated on Wednesday that they had risen 14% in the ultimate 5 weeks of the interval to Oct. 30. This was forward of its forecast of 10% development.

Third-quarter online sales rose 40%, whereas retailer sales in the United Kingdom and Ireland had been down 6.1%.

However, Next, which has upgraded its steerage 4 instances this 12 months, stored its forecast for full-price sales in the fourth quarter to rise 10% versus 2019-20 and for a full-year pretax revenue of 800 million kilos ($1.1 billion), up 6.9% in comparison with 2019-20.

“We do not expect sales to continue at the level seen in Q3,” it stated.

Next has proved a resilient performer in the course of the pandemic, benefiting from its long-established online operations.

Rivals with weaker or no online enterprise, notably Primark, noticed giant falls in sales. Others, equivalent to Topshop-owner Arcadia, and Debenhams went bust.

Shares in Next, up 47% during the last 12 months, closed Tuesday at 8,312 pence, valuing the enterprise at 11.1 billion kilos. The inventory hit a file excessive in September.

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