RNS Number : 1350I

Next PLC

03 August 2023

Second Quarter Trading Statement - 3 August 2023


 --   Full price sales (1) in the second quarter (May-July) were 
       up +6.9% on last year. 
 --   On 19 June we issued an unscheduled Trading Statement after 
       a period of much better than expected full price sales, 
       mainly driven by exceptionally warm weather. Since then, 
       full price sales have been up +3.7% on last year. This was 
       ahead of our guidance of +0.5%. 
 --   The end-of-season Sale has gone well and clearance rates 
       were ahead of our expectations. 
 --   We are increasing our full year guidance for Group profit 
       before tax by GBP10m to GBP845m. 

1. Full price sales are VAT exclusive sales (including the full value of commission based sales), less items sold in Sale events and Clearance. They also exclude Joules sales and sales through Total Platform. Full price sales are not statutory sales.


Full price sales performance versus last year, by business division, is set out below for the second quarter and the first half. For completeness, performance reported in the unscheduled Trading Statement is shown in grey along with the last six weeks.

                                Q2: 7   Q2: 6  Q2: 13  H1: 26 
                                weeks   weeks   weeks   weeks 
Full price sales by division    to 17   to 29   to 29   to 29 
 versus last year                June    July    July    July 
=============================  ======  ======  ======  ====== 
Online                         +13.7%   +5.0%  +10.0%   +4.1% 
Retail                          +3.1%   +1.0%   +2.2%   +0.9% 
                               ======  ======  ======  ====== 
Total Product full price 
 sales                          +9.5%   +3.4%   +6.9%   +2.9% 
Finance interest income         +6.5%   +7.4%   +6.9%   +7.1% 
                               ======  ======  ======  ====== 
Total full price sales inc. 
 interest income                +9.3%   +3.7%   +6.9%   +3.2% 


Stock levels have been well controlled and we went into the end-of-season Sale with surplus stock down -22% versus last year. Clearance rates, to date, are ahead of last year and ahead of our internal forecasts, which has added around GBP4m to Group profit before tax.


Full price sales guidance

We are maintaining our forecast for full price sales to be up +0.5% versus last year in the second half, which implies full price sales for the full year will be up +1.8%.

Revised profit and EPS full year guidance

The combination of:

 --    GBP16m of additional full price sales in the last six weeks 
  --    and 
        improved clearance rates in our end-of-season summer Sale 

mean that we expect to generate GBP10m more profit than we anticipated in our last Trading Statement. Accordingly, we are raising our guidance to GBP845m. The table below sets out our new guidance for the full year, along with the previous guidance.

                          Latest      Versus     guidance    Versus 
Full year guidance        guidance   last year     (2)      last year 
=======================  =========  ==========  =========  ========== 
Full price sales         GBP4.68bn       +1.8%  GBP4.67bn       +1.4% 
NEXT Profit before tax     GBP845m      - 2.9%    GBP835m      - 4.1% 
Pre-tax EPS                 700.1p      - 0.2%     692.0p      - 1.3% 
Post-tax EPS                535.3p      - 6.6%     529.2p      - 7.7% 
                         =========  ==========  =========  ========== 

2. Please note that EPS guidance was not provided in June's Unscheduled Trading Statement. The EPS forecast at that time is shown here for completeness.


We are scheduled to announce our results for the first half of the year on Thursday 21 September 2023.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this Trading Update are forward looking statements. These statements may contain the words "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "aim", "expects", "will", or words of similar meaning. By their nature, forward looking statements involve risks, uncertainties or assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements. As such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward looking statements. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, NEXT plc disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update these statements to reflect events occurring after the date these statements were published.

 Date:          Embargoed until 07:00 hrs, Thursday 3 August 2023 
 Contacts:      Amanda James, Group Finance Director           Tel: 0333 777 
                 (analyst calls)                                8888 
                 Alistair Mackinnon-Musson, Rowbell             Tel: 020 7717 
                 PR                                             5239 
 Photographs:   https://www.nextplc.co.uk/media/image-gallery/campaign-images 
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August 03, 2023 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT)

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