RNS Number : 3726K

Next PLC

05 May 2022

 Date:          Embargoed until 07:00 hrs, Thursday 5 May 2022 
 Contacts:      Amanda James, Group Finance Director           Tel: 0333 777 
                 (analyst calls)                                8888 
                Alistair Mackinnon-Musson, Rowbell             Tel: 020 7717 
                 PR                                             5239 
 Photographs:   https://www.nextplc.co.uk/media/image-gallery/campaign-images 


Trading Statement - 5 May 2022


-- In the thirteen weeks to 30 April full price sales(1) were up +21.3% versus last year, in line with our guidance for this period.

-- We are maintaining our guidance for full year profit before tax at GBP850m, which would be up +3.3% versus last year. Guidance for Earnings Per Share of 557.3p would be up +5.0% versus last year.

(1) Full price sales are total sales excluding VAT, less items sold in our mid-season and end-of-season Sales events, our Clearance operations and sales through Total Platform. These are not statutory sales.


Full price sales versus last year are set out below. Last year, most of our Retail stores were shut for the majority of the first quarter, which is why Retail growth is so strong at +285%. Conversely, last year Online sales were boosted by Retail closures, which is why we planned Online sales to be down in the first quarter against last year. Online sales against three years ago remained strong and were up +47% versus 2019/20.

The right hand column shows the three year growth versus 2019/20, which is the most recent year not disrupted by COVID. The three year growth of +19.5% is the equivalent of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +6.1%.

                                        13 weeks to 30          13 weeks to 
                                                 April             30 April 
Full price sales (VAT exclusive)       One year growth    Three year growth 
 by division                        2022/23 vs 2021/22   2022/23 vs 2019/20 
=================================  ===================  =================== 
Online NEXT UK                                   - 24%                 +23% 
Online LABEL UK                                   +20%                +106% 
                                   ===================  =================== 
Total Online UK                                  - 11%                 +47% 
Online Overseas(2)                               - 12%                 +47% 
                                   ===================  =================== 
Total Online                                     - 11%                 +47% 
Retail (UK and Ireland)                          +285%                 - 8% 
                                   ===================  =================== 
Total Product full price sales                    +22%                 +21% 
Finance interest income                           +11%                 - 2% 
                                   ===================  =================== 
Total full price sales including 
 interest income                                +21.3%               +19.5% 

(2) In March, we closed our websites in Ukraine and Russia. Excluding Ukraine and Russia, Overseas full price sales were down -7% versus last year and up +60% versus three years ago.


Our guidance for the full year is set out below. The guidance for sales and profit before tax remains unchanged from that given in our Year End Results in March.

Guidance for 2022/23                  Lower   guidance    Upper 
==================================  =======  =========  ======= 
Q1 full price sales versus 
 2021/22 (actual)                    +21.3%     +21.3%   +21.3% 
Q2 - Q4 full price sales versus 
 2021/22                             - 2.9%      +0.8%    +4.6% 
                                    =======  =========  ======= 
Full year full price sales 
 versus 2021/22                       +2.0%      +5.0%    +8.0% 
Profit before tax                   GBP795m    GBP850m  GBP895m 
Profit before tax versus 2021/22     - 3.4%      +3.3%    +8.7% 
Earnings Per Share                   521.3p     557.3p   586.8p 
Earnings Per Share versus 2021/22    - 1.8%      +5.0%   +10.6% 
                                    =======  =========  ======= 

For completeness, full price sales guidance against three years ago is shown below. The table demonstrates that, on a three year basis, our central guidance for sales growth for the rest of the year is 1.5% lower than that experienced in the first quarter.

Guidance for 2022/23 versus                 Central 
 2019/20                           Lower   guidance   Upper 
================================  ======  =========  ====== 
Q1 full price sales versus 
 2019/20 (actual)                 +19.5%     +19.5%  +19.5% 
Q2 - Q4 full price sales versus 
 2019/20                          +13.6%     +18.0%  +22.4% 
                                  ======  =========  ====== 
Full year full price sales 
 versus 2019/20                   +15.0%     +18.4%  +21.7% 


In our Year End Results in March we forecast that, at our central guidance, we would generate around GBP220m of surplus cash (after interest, tax, capital expenditure, investments or acquisitions and ordinary dividends), which we would either (1) return to shareholders (via share buybacks or special dividends) or (2) invest in equity stakes in potential Total Platform clients. Since then, we have purchased GBP107.5m of shares and spent GBP20m acquiring minority stakes in a number of businesses, the lion's share of this investment being in JoJo Maman BéBé.

Share Buybacks

So far this year, we have purchased 1.6m shares at an average share price of GBP65.52, totalling GBP107.5m. This has reduced the number of shares in issue by 1.2% since the January 2022 year end.


Our next sales update will cover the first 26 weeks of the year to 30 July 2022 and is scheduled for Thursday 4 August 2022.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this Trading Update are forward looking statements. These statements may contain the words "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "aim", "expects", "will", or words of similar meaning. By their nature, forward looking statements involve risks, uncertainties or assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements. As such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward looking statements. Except as required by applicable law or regulation, NEXT plc disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update these statements to reflect events occurring after the date these statements were published.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2022 02:01 ET (06:01 GMT)

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