Retailer Next plc (NXT.L) reported a 0.8% growth in retail sales, with total brand sales rising by 3.9% between November 1st and December 24th. The company said its fourth-quarter sales growth has been in line with the rest of the year and in line with its previous forecast.
Though sales were in line with expectations, cost control measures, markdowns and gross margins have all been slightly better than anticipated. Consequently, the company narrowed its profit outlook to the top of its prior range of 590 million pounds - 620 million pounds. Next now sees profit to be within 7 million pounds either side of 618 million pounds.
For the year to January 2013, underlying Group pre-tax profit is projected to lie between 611 million pounds and 625 million pounds. According to Next, the combination of profit growth, lower corporation tax rates and share buybacks should result in growth in underlying earnings per share of between 14% and 17%.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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