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Next Plc H1 Pretax Profit Slightly Decreases; Maintains Full Year Guidance

Next plc (NXT.L) reported pretax profit of 342.1 million pounds for the Half Year ending July 2016 compared to 347.1 million pounds, last year. Profit for the period attributable to equity holders of the parent company decreased to 273.5 million pounds from 277.0 million pounds. Earnings per share was 187.1 pence compared to 183.7 pence. Underlying earnings per share were up 0.8%, boosted by the effect of share buybacks.

First-half revenue increased to 1.94 billion pounds from 1.89 billion pounds, prior year. Although total NEXT Brand sales were up 3.0% from last year, full price sales were down 0.3% on a comparable week basis.

The Group maintained its sales and profit guidance for the full year issued with trading statement at the beginning of August. For the full year, the Group expects NEXT Brand full price sales growth to be between a decline of 2.5% and an increase of 2.5%. Group profit before tax is expected to be in a range of 775 million to 845 million pounds.

Next plc declared an ordinary interim dividend of 53 pence per share, in line with last year, to be paid on 3 January 2017. Shares will trade ex-dividend from 8 December 2016 and the record date will be 9 December 2016.

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