Next Raises Lower Profit Limit as Revenue Beats Expectations

Next Plc (NXT), the U.K.’s second-largest clothing retailer, raised its lower limit of profit guidance for the year after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter sales boosted by growth in September.

Profit before tax will be between 590 million pounds ($949 million) and 620 million pounds, compared with an earlier target of as low as 575 million pounds, the Leicester, England-based retailer said today in a statement. Total brand sales in the period ended Oct. 27 rose 2.7 percent, excluding value-added tax, more than the 2 percent median estimate of six analysts.

Next said higher sales in late September and early October offset an “unusually quiet” start to August. The retailer is revamping its online delivery options, adding new home outlets selling furniture and cutting costs to combat the difficult consumer climate.

“Overall sales performance remains volatile, making it hard to draw conclusions from any one short period of time,” Next said in the statement. “We expect total sales in the final quarter to increase broadly in line with sales for the year-to- date.”

The shares rose 0.2 percent to 3,605 pence in London trading yesterday. They have risen 32 percent this year.

Revenue at the Next Directory home-shopping unit increased by 5.6 percent, compared with the 8.5 percent median estimate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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