LONDON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - British clothing retailer Next edged up its profit forecast for the full 2019-20 year after better-than-expected sales in the Christmas period.
Next, the first major UK listed retailer to update on Christmas trading, said on Friday total full price sales including interest income rose 5.2% in the period from Oct. 27 to Dec. 28, the bulk of its fiscal fourth quarter. That was 1.1% ahead of Next’s internal forecast and compared to third quarter growth of 2%.
The group said its sales performance in the period was helped by a much colder November than last year and improved stock availability in both its retail stores and online.
As a result Next increased its full-year profit guidance by 2 million pounds ($2.6 million) to 727 million pounds, an increase of 0.6% on last year. It forecast earnings per share (EPS) growth of 5.4%.
Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.
Sign up for a free trial of our full service at https://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.