UK: Next sales accelerates on online growth
Shares in Next have jumped as the UK clothing retailer recorded a rise in third-quarter revenues, driven by growing online sales.
The company today (2 November) reported third-quarter sales growth of 3.3%, driven by a 16.9% rise at its Next directory division. However, retail sales fell 3.3% over the quarter.
Shares in the company were up 5% to 2,686p a share at 12:29 GMT.
Next said it remains confident that it will see no further increase in selling prices in the first half of 2012, and that early indications are that this trend will continue into the second half of 2012.
Charles Stanley analyst Sam Hart said that the addition of new space made a 3.4% contribution to sales, "implying like-for-like sales were down by 6.7%", which represents a "slight deterioration on the first-half".
However he added that he would "discourage investors from focusing too much on Next Retail's like-for-like sales, as unlike other retailers, it does not include online sales. The store network greatly facilitates the directory business by acting as a 'shop window' for Next's product range and as an order pick-up/returns point for customers."
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