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Gloucestershire Business News

Next profits hit record high

Next profits have hit a record high in its last financial year as the retail giant said it was "a long time since we started a year in a more positive frame of mind".

Next posted a slightly better-than-expected 5% rise in profit to £918m for the year to January 2024 as group sales rose by almost 6% to £5.84bn.

For the year ahead, the retailer expects pre-tax profit of £960m as rising wages allow shoppers to spend more on fashion, Retail Gazette has reported.

Lord Wolfson, CEO, heralded the start of a "new era" for Next.

Wolfson said: "The group has evolved so much in the last seven years and, in many ways, it feels like we are now entering a new era."

The retailer outlined three new avenues of growth: increasing the Next brand overseas, the development of new brands and licences, and the generation of revenues from the Total platform and its associated equity investments.

Next said: "In some ways, these new opportunities mirror the three avenues of growth that powered the company from 1997 to 2017."

"They all allow our product skills and our infrastructure to play to a wider audience. And in doing so, have the potential to create a huge amount of value for our existing customers, new customers and third-party clients."

Next said the development of the brand is its "first and foremost task."

"We will strive to deliver more newness, greater breadth of design and improved quality. Exceeding the expectations of our existing customers and attracting customers who, until now, might have thought that the Next brand was not for them."

Next added that it did not expect any material adverse impact from stock delays due to attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

The firm said: "On average, transit times have been extended by 7-10 days and our product teams have adjusted the timing of their contract bookings to account for this delay.

"In addition, higher freight costs have been factored into our prices going forward, but we still anticipate that our prices will fall."

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