Next DEFENDS high street presence as it predicts higher annual sales and profits

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Lord WolfsonNEXT/PA

Peer Wolfson said its prospects appeared ‘somewhat less challenging than they did six months ago’

Chief numero uno Lord Wolfson said its prospects appeared «somewhat less call into doubting than they did six months ago» due to improved ranges and moderating price inflation.

He also fight for its high street presence, adding: «There are those that in that retail shops will be more of a liability than an asset in the following; we do not see it that way.

«There are two important reasons. Firstly, our store portfolio looks set to be left profitable and strongly cash generative for many years to come.

«Secondly, our shops are an important part of our online service to the increasing horde of customers who collect and return their orders through our stores.»

He go on increased: «While the external environment looks set to remain difficult, from where we withstand today our prospects going forward appear somewhat less call out than they did six months ago.

NextGETTY STOCK IMAGE

The fashion retailer portended higher annual sales and profits

«We have seen the benefits of merchandise improvements begin to work their way through into our Autumn numbers and the medium-term outlook for pricing looks more benign, with expenditure inflation set to moderate to just two per cent in the first half of next year and to zero per cent in the gal Friday half.»

Shares lifted 577p to 4994p after first-half pre-tax profit cut 9.5 per cent to £309.4 million on 2.2 per cent lower sales of £1.91 billion.

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