FASHION and homewares chain Next is this week expected to show it is sparkling amid the high street gloom with another rise in sales.
Online income is expected to show a particularly strong uplift. Brokers at Panmure Gordon expect a 14 per cent increase in sales on its website Next Directory for the three months to October. Sales at its 540 stores will up by just 1 per cent.
Retail sales figures for September revealed a surge in sales of warmer clothing and back-to-school attire, which is expected to help Next’s figures.
Philip Dorgan, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, recently raised forecasts for the retailer to reflect “a more benign environment for clothing retailers” and “near term influences on UK household post-tax discretionary income”.
Next, which has been helped by new space offsetting lower sales from shops open more than a year, recently reported a 10 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £251 million for the six months to July.
The group, which has seen its share price steadily climb this year, recently raised its full-year profit hopes to between £575m and £620m, from an earlier forecast of between £560m and £610m.
Prices have been flat in the past year and the company has previously stated that it does not expect to see any significant price pressures ahead.
The autumnal weather was behind a 2 per cent month-on-month rise in clothing sales in the UK in September, the Office for National Statistics said.
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