Next profits rise as it braces for £1bn coronavirus hit

Next Oxford Street 2018 2

Next has posted an increase in full-year profits but warned that the coronavirus pandemic will spark a “significant downturn in sales”.

The fashion giant, which registered a 0.8% uptick in pre-tax profit to £728.5m in the year to January 2020, has modelled a number of coronavirus scenarios – including one that would see full-price sales plummet £1bn in its current financial year.

Next boss Lord Wolfson admitted there was “no way of predicting the extent that the effect coronavirus will have” on the business.

But the retailer has conducted a coronavirus stress test, based on three scenarios that would see sales drop £445m, £820m and £1bn respectively – amounts that equate to 10%, 20% and 25% of annual turnover.

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