In the eight weeks to Christmas day, Next’s (LSE:NXT) full price sales rose 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels. That was £70m ahead of management expectations and, as a result, full year pre-tax profit guidance has been raised £22m to £822m. That would be a 9.8% improvement on two years ago.
Next believes that next year, full price sales will be up 7% on the current year. Pre-tax profit is expected to rise 4.6%.
A further special dividend of 160p per share was announced. The group plans to return to the “pre-pandemic ordinary dividend cycle in the year ahead”.
Next shares have started to slip after hitting a recent peak at 8328 GBX on Tuesday when markets in the UK reopened. The shares hit a recent high of 8426 on 9 December.
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