Next has today released its trading update to 25 April 2015 and the results are a welcomed surprise.
Full price sales for the first 13 weeks of the financial year were up 3.2% - 1.9% which came from the opening of new space.
This is slightly ahead of the guidance it gave in March for the first half of the year, which was predicted at 0% to 3%. However, sales in the first quarter were flattered by the earlier launch of its summer “New-In” brochure, which coincided with much warmer weather. Next believes that this timing effect increased its reported number by around 0.6%.
An outcome of the fashion retailer’s unexpected growth means that Next has been able to remain above its share buyback price limit of £68.27. As a result, the company will pay a further ‘special dividend’ of 60p per share on August 3 2015 to shareholders registered at close of business July 10.
Next will have its fingers crossed for a non-British summer, with its next trading update set to be released 28 July.