Next profits on track but ‘very cautious’

| May 5, 2010
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Fashion chain Next said it had a solid first quarter and is on track to meet full-year profit targets but added: “We remain very cautious in our outlook for the year ahead”.

Its cautious statement comes as many other companies warn of slow consumer spending after the General Election as the new Government embarks on cutting the UKa��s budget deficit.

Next, which is Britain’s second largest fashion retailer, posted a 2.2% rise in total like-for-like retail sales for the 13 weeks to 1 May.

However it said sales at its stores fell 0.8% in the 13-week period.

Meanwhile, the company which runs over 500 shops in the UK and Ireland as well as its Next Directory home shopping business, said online sales grew 7.2% in the period.

The firm said: “Our internal profit before tax forecasts are towards the top end of the range of current City forecasts, most of which fall between A?525-A?565 million”.

Shares in Next have increased 40% in the last year alone – outperforming a 13% rise in the FTSE General Retailers index.

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