Fashion retailer Next has reported pre-tax profit of £ 347 million ($ 469 million) for the six months to July 2021, up 5.9% from 2019.
This compares to profit before tax of £ 9million for semester 2020 while full-price sales were down 33% from the previous year.
The impact of Covid-19 was seen where profits were generated – online profits rose 74% to £ 318million while retail fell 120% to a loss of 17, £ 8million.
Full-price sales for the past eight weeks are up 20% from 2019, exceeding the group’s expectations. This compares to the previous forecast for the second half of 6%.
Next increased its full-price sales forecast for the remainder of the year, up 10% from 2019.
Increase in profit forecasts
Expected profit before tax (post-IFRS 16) is now £ 800m, up 6.9% from 2019 and £ 36m ahead of its previous forecast of £ 764m. pound sterling.
The forecast for year-end net debt is now £ 610million, a reduction of £ 502million from two years ago.
Earnings per share are expected to reach 516.9 pence, up 9% from two years ago.
In its biannual report, Next highlighted the importance of online opportunities.
“Freed from the physical constraints of the four walls of retail stores, our product teams have flourished, pushing the boundaries of our designs, with a greater choice of fabrics, prints and fits in a wider range of sizes and on a wider range of prices. In addition, they expanded into new product categories, extending the reach of the Next brand from performance sportswear to patio furniture.
Earlier this month, Next has entered into an agreement with the American clothing chain Gap to manage its activities in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Under the terms of the agreement, Next will operate Gap’s online shopping business, host Gap branded dealerships at selected outlets, and provide click-and-collect options for online shoppers.
Read more: Next will face Gap in a joint venture
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