Next reports that sales during the 11 weeks to 17th July were materially ahead of expectations and, that it is increasing its profit guidance for the full year as a result – by +£30m to £750m (pre-IFRS 16).
Next says figure accounts for the profit from additional sales, together with the cost of its unplanned repayment of £29m in business rates relief (covering the period this year in which Next's shops were not charged business rates but were open).
Full price sales during the period were up +18.6% Yo2Y. Online sales were up +44%, with retail sales in the UK and Ireland down -6% (both Yo2Y). Next-branded Home sales were up +40%.
Next has raised sales guidance for H2 from +3% to +6%. For the full year, surplus cash is forecast to be £240m.