Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Next - Christmas Trading Update

This FTSE 100 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 has around 4m active customers and also serves customers in around 70 countries outside the UK.

In October Next cut its profit forecast by 3% to £770m after a mild autumn reduced demand for winter clothing. However, in its latest trading update issued today for the period end October to 24th December (link via Investegate), the company says it has recovered some of the lost ground and profits are likely to be £5m higher at around £775m. This would be an increase of 11.5% on the previous full year.

Year-to-date sales are up 7.7% with a strong contribution once again from online directory sales - up 12.9%.

More good news for income seekers, in addition to the 3 special dividends paid out over the past year totalling £1.50 and the 50p interim dividend due next week, there will be yet another special dividend of 50p payable 2nd February.

The update has been well received and at the time of posting, the share price is up just over 3% at £67.60.

More on this following the full year results 19th March.

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