Next's first quarter retail sales fall

Next has reported a 1.9 per cent fall in retail sales in the first quarter, blaming an unseasonably cold March.

Next has reported a 1.9 per cent fall in retail sales in the first quarter, blaming an unseasonably cold March.

The UK retailer said poor weather stopped shoppers from stocking up on new summer ranges in March, which affected the overall performance of the first three months of the year. Sales picked up in April as the weather warmed up.

In contrast, its home shopping catalogue and website division Directory rose 8.9% during the quarter. Brand sales excluding VAT were up 2.2% of which 1.5% came from the opening of new space.

"It is apparent that the poor March figures were down to an abnormally cold spring, equally the good weeks since mid April have been boosted by pent up demand from the previous month," Next said in a statement.

"We believe that neither period is indicative of any significant change in the underlying economy."

The company is confident of meeting its full-year sales guidance range of a 1.0% to 4.0% rise and a profit range of £615m to £665m. Earnings per share are estimated to grow between 4.0% to 13%.

RD

Recommended

Three sustainable stocks that are doing well by doing good
Share tips

Three sustainable stocks that are doing well by doing good

Professional investor Peter Michaelis of the Liontrust Sustainable Investment Team picks three stocks to buy that are helping to create a cleaner, saf…
26 Jul 2021
Share tips of the week – 23 July
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 23 July

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
23 Jul 2021
Will Zoom’s $15bn purchase help it expand?
Tech stocks

Will Zoom’s $15bn purchase help it expand?

The videoconferencing platform became a household name during the pandemic, but it now needs new sources of growth. Alex Rankine reports
23 Jul 2021
Philip Morris goes “beyond nicotine”
Stocks and shares

Philip Morris goes “beyond nicotine”

US tobacco giant Philip Morris International has agreed to pay £1bn for British inhaler specialist Vectura.
23 Jul 2021

Most Popular

The MoneyWeek Podcast: Asia, financial repression and the nature of capitalism
Economy

The MoneyWeek Podcast: Asia, financial repression and the nature of capitalism

Russell Napier talks to Merryn about financial repression – or "stealing money from old people slowly" – plus how Asian capitalism is taking over in t…
16 Jul 2021
Why the UK's 2.5% inflation is a big deal
Inflation

Why the UK's 2.5% inflation is a big deal

After years of inflation being a financial-assets problem, it is now an “ordinary things” problem too, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But central banks st…
16 Jul 2021
Three companies that are reaping the rewards of investment
Share tips

Three companies that are reaping the rewards of investment

Professional investor Edward Wielechowski of the Odyssean Investment Trust highlights three stocks that have have invested well – and are able to deal…
19 Jul 2021