UK: Next warns of higher prices as Q3 sales rise
- Q3 Next brand sales up 2.2%
- Retail like-for-likes fall 3.3%
- Warns that prices will rise more than expected
Fashion retailer Next’s branded sales were up 2.2% in the third quarter, towards the upper end of its forecast range of 0-3%.
A strong performance from the UK company’s online and Directory businesses helped offset a 3.3% decline in Next Retail like-for-likes and a 0.3% decline in total retail sales.
Next maintained its full-year brand sales guidance range of 0-3%, despite the prospect of tougher comparatives in the fourth quarter.
The company’s forecast pre-tax profit remained unchanged at GBP535-560m (US$863-903m).
Next also warned that recent rises in the price of cotton would probably leave retail price increases in the first quarter of next year at the upper end of its 5-8% range.
“The longevity of what appears to be a speculative bubble in cotton prices will be critical in determining prices for the second quarter,” Next said.
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