Next has a spring in its step after warmer weather

A summer brochure launch coincided with good weather. Picture: Enrique Badulescu
A summer brochure launch coincided with good weather. Picture: Enrique Badulescu
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Warmer weather at the start of this month provided a lift to Next sales, helping the high street stalwart report a better-than-expected start to its financial year yesterday.

Full-price sales for the 13 weeks to 25 April rose 3.2 per cent – better than the range the firm gave in March for a rise of up to 3 per cent in the first half. The performance was flattered by the launch of its summer “New-In” brochure, which coincided with the unseasonably warm spell.

Next stuck by its forecast that annual profits will rise to between £785 million and £835m.

Full-price sales at the Directory business were up 7 per cent in the 13 weeks, a performance which brokerage Investec Securities described as encouraging.

Last month, Next trimmed its sales guidance for 2015-16, pointing to tough comparative numbers in the spring and summer.

Ketan Patel, senior investment analyst at Ecclesiastical Investment Management, said: “Next continues to develop its fundamental strengths in a highly competitive and dynamic market by investing in product quality, its store network and the Directory offer.”