Third-quarter trading for clothing retailer Next (NXT) told a familiar story. A 6.3 per cent decline in store sales was more than offset by strong growth in online sales of 9.2 per cent. The group also continued to make progress at its financing business, which allows customers to shop on credit, with interest income increasing 7 per cent.
Importantly for shareholders, despite week sales in August and September, which was countered by strong trading in July and October, the company is sticking to guidance ahead of its all important Christmas trading period. Indeed, the third quarter was better than brokers expected.
The company expects full-price sales to be up 3.6 per cent for the year while share buybacks are expected to help Next produce a 5.2 per cent increase in EPS.