Wednesday, 30 April 2014

NEXT - Q1 Trading Update

This FTSE 100 retailer was added to my portfolio last October.

The retail chain was only launched in February 1982 and the first store opened with an exclusive coordinated collection of stylish clothes, shoes and accessories for women. Collections for men, children and the home quickly followed. NEXT clothes are styled by its in-house design team to offer great style, quality and value for money with a contemporary fashion edge.

Today NEXT trades from more than 500 stores in the UK and Eire and almost 200 stores in more than 30 countries overseas. Online shopping was introduced in 1999 and the entire book became available to shop from on the internet, page by page – another first in home shopping in the UK. NEXT Directory now also serves customers in around 60 countries outside the UK.

They have today issued a trading statement for the 1st quarter to 26th April (link via Investegate).
Sales are up 10.8% - with online directory sales up 13.7% - and their full year guidance has been lifted to between 5.5% and 9.5% with profits estimate between £750m - £790m.

"This new guidance might look conservative in the light of the first quarter's performance, however, we always expected the first quarter to show above average sales growth as the comparative period last year suffered from a particularly cold spring and Easter holiday period" the company said.

A further special dividend of 50p has been announced, making £1.50 for the year so far. This will be paid 1st August at the same time as the final dividend of 93p.

CEO, Lord Wolfson has decided to share his bonus with staff who have worked for the retailer for three years. It will give around 20,000 staff roughly 1.5% of salary in their May pay packet. Such news is uncharacteristic of the executive bonus climate today and has eclipsed another excellent set of data from the retailer.

I am happy with progress so far and decided to add to my initial holding earlier in the month.

At the time of posting, the share price was down 0.8% at £64.30. More on this following the half year results at end July.

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