Full price sales in the thirteen weeks to 1 May were down 1.5% on two years ago at Next, which is better than expected.
The retailer’s previous central guidance assumed that Q1 would be down 10%. The company has beaten this Q1 forecast by £75m.
Next has therefore increased its central guidance for full year profit before tax by £20m to £720m.
This profit upgrade accounts for the £75m sales over-achievement in Q1.
The move comes as Next’s performance was bolstered by online sales, which were up 65% in the thirteen weeks to 1 May, while retail sales were down 76%. Sales comparisons are given relative to two years ago (2019/20) as Next believes this is more meaningful than comparing with 2020/21, which was affected by COVID.