- Next Plc reported over a 21% increase in its full-price sales in the 13 weeks to 30 April 2022.
- The rise in the company’s sales has been attributed to more footfall at physical stores following the relaxations in COVID-19 guidelines.
Following the relaxations in COVID-19 restrictions and the gradual reopening of the economy, shoppers have once again started returning to physical stores. This was reflected in the sales figures of high street clothing and footwear retailer Next Plc (LON: NXT), which announced a 21% rise in full-price sales in the 13 weeks to 30 April 2022.
Listed on the FTSE 100, Next sells clothes, footwear accessories, and beauty products through its more than 500 physical stores in the UK and over 180 franchise stores across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It also sells the products through its online store.
Next’s results for the period ended 30 April 2022
In the results announced on Thursday, the company said its total retail sales across the UK and Ireland saw a whopping 285% rise till April end of this year in comparison to the same period last year. The rise has been attributed to more footfall at the stores this year as a majority of them remained closed for the most part of the first quarter last year.
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Conversely, online sales, which saw a significant rise last year, fell by 11% this year as people preferred to physically visit the stores. For the reported quarter, online sales grew by 47% when compared to the same quarter of the pre-COVID period in 2019.
The company further announced that under its share buyback program, it had bought 1.6 million shares since January this year, reducing the total number of shares in issue by 1.2%.
For FY2022, the company expects to stay in line with its previous guidance and reach a full-price sales growth of 2-8%. The profit before tax is expected to range between £795 million and £895 million. The mean earnings per share (EPS) is also expected to rise by 5% over the last year to 557.3p.
Notably, there was no downgrade in forecasts due to the rising inflation and the company's earlier warning that its decision to close stores in Russia and Ukraine would hit its sales by £85 million and knock about £18 million off its profits.
In March, the fashion retailer had also warned that it will need to raise its prices 'even further' later this year, following a similar warning in January, due to the rising input costs.
Stock price performance
Despite reporting a strong performance, the share price of Next Plc remained sideways on Thursday. As of 12:20 pm GMT+1, its shares were trading at GBX 6,130.00, up 0.72%. The company's current market cap stands at £7,980.68. In the last one year, the share price has depreciated by 22.96%, while its year-to-return date currently stands at -24.54%. So far this year, the share price has seen a downward trend.