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Next Shares Rise as Retailer Holds Forecasts in Tough Market

  • Next targets product-range improvements, supplier savings
  • Shares rally as much as 9.3% in biggest gain since June 2016
A shopper carries shopping bags, including one from Next Plc, through Lakeside shopping centre, operated by Intu Properties Plc., in Thurrock, U.K., on Wednesday, July, 29, 2015. U.K. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter as business services and finance strengthened and North Sea output surged.
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
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Next Plc held its profit forecast and said it can mitigate a tough U.K. clothing market by improving ranges and switching suppliers, reassuring investors worried about the retailer’s price pressures and product challenges.

The clothier maintained its forecast that profit will fall this year to between 680 million pounds  ($849 million) and 780 million pounds, defying some analyst predictions that Chief Executive Officer Simon Wolfson would lower it. Next rose as much as 9.3 percent, the biggest gain since June, and lifted shares of peer Marks & Spencer Group Plc by as much as 4.8 percent.