British multinational clothing company Next has announced a 5.7% increase in total trading full-price sales for the first quarter (Q1) of the fiscal year 2024/25 (FY24/25), exceeding its projections of 5% growth.  

While retail sales remained unchanged from the previous year, the online segment experienced an 8.8% increase.

For the full fiscal year 2024/25, the retailer anticipates its total group sales will be 6% higher than in 2023/24, outpacing the expected underlying growth in Next Trading full-price sales by 3.5%.  

It expects trading full-price sales for the entire fiscal year to increase by 2.5% to £4.9bn. 

Next is holding steady with its full-year sales and profit forecasts, predicting a group profit before tax of £960m – 4.6% up from fiscal 2023/24.  

The company expects pre-tax earnings per share (EPS) of 805.2p, up 6.3% from the previous year, and a post-tax EPS of 606.3p, increasing 4.8%.

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Next said in its trading statement: “We are maintaining our guidance for full price sales in the first half to be up +2.5%. This implies that our sales in Q2 will be down -0.3%.  

“We expect the sales performance in the second quarter to be weaker than the first quarter because [2023] benefited from particularly warm weather from late May through to the end of June.” 

In February 2024 Next held talks with administrators handling the insolvency of cosmetics chain The Body Shop, potentially seeking to acquire parts of the business.