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Next reports first fall in profits for eight years

Next - William Frost Way 725 x 500

Next has reported on trading for the year ended January 2017.

The retailer has reported a fall in profits for the first time in eight years, since the 2008 financial crisis, and has warned that trading conditions in the year ahead will continue to be tough.

Total Next Group sales reached £4,136.8m compared with £4,149.7m in the year ended January 2016.

Pre-tax profits declined by 3.8% to £790.2m compared with £821.3m in the previous year.

Next said: "We remain clear on our priorities going forward. We will continue to focus on improving the Company’s product, marketing, services, stores and cost control."

Despite the decline, Next's shares have risen by 8% in early trading this morning.

Within the trading update, John Barton, Next's outgoing Chairman, announced that he will be succeeded by Michael Roney on 1st August 2017.

Analyst View

Martin Lane, Managing Editor at www.money.co.uk, gave us his view:

“It’s no surprise Next PLC are struggling. The competition is fierce and yet they continue to make their online customers jump through hoops with difficult navigation and by pushing a Next Directory account before you can buy something. Customers want to shop hassle free and checkout quickly as a guest. They don’t want to enter lots of details and they certainly don’t want the junk emails that come with having an account. 

“For the brand to stand the test of time they need to rethink their online strategy. Profits are falling and they have their work cut out to make sure they don’t become the next victim of the high street.”

Source : Insight DIY

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23 March 2017

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