Next has endured another tough six months on the high street, seeing sales and profits decline across the board.
In the half year to July, Next’s retail arm saw sales plummet 8.3 per cent to £993 million, while its group sales dropped 2.2 per cent to £1.91 billion.
Overall pre-tax profits also dropped 9.5 per cent to £309 million, while its retail arm saw a huge 33.1 per cent drop in profits to £86 million, down from £134 million last year.
The only division to perform well was Next Directory, which saw sales and profits rise 5.7 per cent to £868 million and 6.3 per cent to £217 million respectively.
“The first half has seen a marked divergence of performance between our Retail and Directory businesses, with sales and profits down in Retail but moving forward in Directory,” chief executive Lord Simon Wolfson said.
“The first half of the year has been difficult and sales and profits are in line with our cautious expectations.”
Next now expects full year sales for January 2018 to come in between -2 per cent and 1.5 per cent, while pre-tax profits are expected to be between -13.1 per cent (£687 million) and -5.5 per cent (£747 million)
“Our performance in the last three months has been encouraging on a number of fronts and whilst the retail environment remains tough, our prospects going forward appear somewhat less challenging than they did six months ago,” Wolfson said.
“As a result, we are taking the opportunity to modestly upgrade our sales and profit guidance for the full year.”