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Next Plc FY Pre-tax Profit Down - Quick Facts

Next plc (NXT.L) reported that its profit before taxation for the 52 weeks to 26 January 2019 declined to 722.9 million pounds from 726.1 million pounds last year. The company proposed a final ordinary dividend of 110 pence taking the total ordinary dividend for the year to 165 pence, an increase of 4.4% on last year.

The company noted that the year to January 2019 was challenging for NEXT as it continued to experience a structural change in business, with sales continuing to transfer from its stores to online.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty around the exact shape and form of the UK's future relationship with the EU. The company can see no evidence that this uncertainty is affecting consumer behaviour in sector, Next said.

Profit attributable to equity holders of the Parent Company for the year decreased to 590.4 million pounds, from 591.8 million pounds last year, while earnings per share improved to 433.0 pence from 415.7 pence in the previous year.

Total revenue, including credit account interest, grew to 4.17 billion pounds from 4.09 billion pounds in the prior year. Full price sales were up 3.1%. Online full price sales increased by 14.8% and Retail full price sales declined by 7.3%.

The company noted that its central guidance is based on full price sales for the year ahead being up 1.7%. This is in line with our performance in the second half of last year.

Although the company anticipates that total sales will grow in the year ahead, Next forecasts for profits to marginally decline.

At central guidance of full price sales growth of 1.7%, the company estimates that Group profit before tax would be around 715 million pounds, down 1.1% on last year. It expects earnings per share to be enhanced by 4.9% as a result of the continuing distribution of surplus cash generation in the form of share buybacks. As a result, earnings per share for the full year are expected to rise by 3.6%.

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