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01 Apr 2021 | 07:02

Next lifts guidance as annual profits more than halved

(Sharecast News) - Clothing retailer Next lifted current year profits guidance as online sales continued to soar during the Covid lockdown, despite annual profits halving. The company on Thursday said it now expected profits of £700m, up £30m after a boom in sales during February and March. Pre-tax profits for the year to January 31 fell to £342m, in line with expectations, but still down from £729m a year earlier. Dividend payments remained suspended and debt was cut by £502m to £610m.

Total group sales fell 17% to £3.6bn as stores were shuttered during the pandemic.

"In the first eight weeks of the year, online sales have been stronger than expected and are up more than 60% on two years ago," the company said
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