October 3, 2023

Next will give you an idea of ​​the state of the High Street and the mood of buyers next week.

All eyes will be on the FTSE 100 fashion retailer and the opinion of its boss, Simon Wolfson, when it releases its full-year results on Wednesday.

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Investors will be interested to know if shoppers continue to splurge on clothing in the face of higher prices, and how much price increase Wolfson thinks prices will need to rise.

Earlier this year, the company raised its earnings forecast for the full year after sales during the Christmas shopping period beat expectations.

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Analysts expect Next to report a 4.5% increase in sales to £5.1bn in 2022.

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Profits are hoped to rise by a similar amount to £860m.

Given the turmoil in the financial markets, investors certainly could do something to cheer, and Next’s stock is up about 15% this year, though it’s still down about 20% since late 2021.

Aarin Chikri, Equity Analyst at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Next’s latest trading update has given the group plenty to celebrate.

“Sales during the Christmas period were better than expected. While these numbers are commendable, given the challenging environment for retailers, it’s important not to lose sight of the challenges ahead. To cope with rising costs, Next raises prices.

“The question is whether consumers will be able to digest these surges. If not, we may see a drop in sales.

“The group’s position as a mid-range retailer means its customers can slide down the value chain rather than fork out a little more.”

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