• Next’s full-price sales rose 0.7% in the second quarter
  • Full-price sales fell 1.2% in the year to date
  • Strong Directory sales and warm weather helped performance

Next has posted a 0.7% rise in full-price sales in the second quarter, helped by warm weather.

Next reported that retail sales fell 7.4% in the period to July 29, but the Directory business put in a “particularly good” performance and its revenues advanced 11.4%.

In the year to date, Next said full-price sales were down 1.2%.

Next launched its end-of-season Sale in July with 5% less stock and markdown sales were down 14%. The result was that statutory total sales fell 2.1% in the second quarter and 2.3% in the half.

Next said: ”During the second quarter June and July sales have been better than expected. We believe there has been some improvement in our product ranges and our online functionality during this period.  

”However, we believe most of the increase in full-price sales is due to the much warmer weather and, to a lesser degree, lower markdown sales in the end-of-season Sale.

Next chiefs remain cautious about the consumer outlook and are budgeting for second half full-price sales to be down 1.2%.

The retailer narrowed its sales range guidance for the full year but made no adjustment to profit guidance.

Next noted: “The improvement in full-price sales has been offset with lower clearance rates during our end-of-season Sale and the assumption we will experience a similar deterioration in our January Sale. This has resulted in our central profit guidance remaining unchanged.”