Next Slumps on Guidance Cut After Weak Summer

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Next Slumps on Guidance Cut After Weak Summer
Credit: © Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith -- Shares in Next (LON: NXT ) slumped on Thursday to its lowest in more than two years, as the U.K. fashion chain cut its outlook for the second half of its fiscal year after a disappointing summer.

By 03:40 ET (07:40 GMT), Next stock was down 9.0%.

The company now sees full price sales falling 1.5% from last year's levels in the second half, having earlier expected a rise of 1%. As a result, full-year profit is now expected at 840 million pounds ($906 million), a cut of 20 million pounds from its earlier guidance. That translates into a 2.7% increase in full-year earnings per share.

"August trade was below our expectations and cost of living pressures are set to rise in the coming months," the group said in a half-year update, although it noted that sales had improved in September and added that "we may see benefits from recent Government measures." 

Chief executive Simon Wolfson noted that the company needed to improve the efficiency and accuracy of its online and distribution operations as the surge in online spending during the pandemic recedes. 

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