23 May 2024, 23:58
By Furniture News Mar 24, 2022

Next cautious despite profit gains

Next brand full-price sales were up +12.8% Yo2Y in the 12 months to January 2022, and up +32.4% YoY.

The retailer achieved a profit before tax of £823m (up +10% Yo2Y and +140% YoY). It ended the year with net debt (excluding lease debt) of £600m, down -46% Yo2Y.

Looking to the year ahead, Next has lowered its sales guidance by £85m (-2%) and profit guidance by £10m (-1.2%), following the closure of its websites in Ukraine and Russia, and after moderating growth expectations in some other overseas territories.

However, it says an improved outlook for UK retail sales has mitigated the anticipated loss of lower-margin sales overseas and the associated cost of increased markdown.

Next's expectations for inflation in LFL selling price in H1 remains at +3.7%, but its estimate for selling price inflation in H2 has increased from +6% to +8% (a combination of +6.5% on fashion and +13% on homewares and furniture).

Next believes that full price sales will increase by +5% and that group profits will increase by +3.3% to £850m. Year-end net debt is forecast to rise in line with anticipated profits to £620m, up +3.3% YoY.

"We enter 2022 with confidence in the outlook for our business and its ability to continue its successful evolution," says chairman Michael Roney. "The effects of the pandemic are ongoing and we remain mindful of macroeconomic and geopolitical risks, but our continued investment over many years in our people and our systems has generated strong and resilient results in the past year, and we believe that it will continue to do so."

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