Next has upped its full-year profit guidance for the fifth time in eight months following “better than anticipated” full-price sales during November and December.
The fashion giant posted a 5.7% increase in sales for the nine weeks to December 30, which was £38m “better” than its previous guidance of a 2% sales increase for the period.
Next said performance in both stores and online during the Christmas trading period was “ahead of expectations”, with online performing “particularly well”.
Online sales were up 9.1% in the fourth quarter and 7.7% during the second half, which the retailer credited to service improvements when compared with last year.
As a result, Next has upped its full-year profit guidance before tax by £20m to £905m.
In terms of outlook, the retailer has also posted its sales and profit guidance for the 2024/2025 full financial year, with group sales expected to rise by 6% and group profit before tax by 5%.
In a statement, Next said that, while the consumer environment looks “more benign than it has for a number of years”, there are still some “significant uncertainties” including a weakening employment market, concerns regarding mortgage rates and supply chain difficulties.
The strong Christmas sales performance follows Next’s acquisition of Fat Face in October last year in a deal worth £115.2m.