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Next Plc H1 Pretax Profit Rises; Full Price Sales Up 4.5%

Next plc (NXT.L) reported pretax profit of 311.1 million pounds for the 26 weeks to 28 July 2018 compared to 309.4 million pounds, prior year. Profit for the period attributable to equity holders increased to 254.2 million pounds or 184.5 pence per share from 252.2 million pounds or 176.5 pence per share.

First-half revenue from continuing operations increased to 1.96 billion pounds from 1.90 billion pounds, last year. NEXT Brand full price sales in the first half were up 4.5% and total sales (including markdown) were up 3.9% on last year.

The Group believes the over-performance in the first half was flattered by the unusually warm summer and it remains cautious in outlook for the rest of the year.

For full year 2019, new central guidance for earnings per share growth is 5.0% (May central guidance, was 3.7%). Group profit before tax is now projected to be 727 million pounds (May central guidance was 717 million pounds). Total full price sales is now expected to be up 3.0% (May central guidance, was up 2.2%).

The Group declared an ordinary interim dividend of 55 pence per share, which is up 3.8% on last year.

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