Next shares soared on Tuesday after the group posted a surge in online sales.
Profits from better-than-expected sales over the Christmas period, however, are likely to be offset by losses faced over the next lockdown.
In the nine weeks to 26 December, online sales were up by 36%. In-store sales within the UK tumbled by 43%. Total sales were 1.1% lower than the same period in 2019 – this is much better than the expected 8% fall that was expected by the retailer.
Analysts have said that they’re confident of Next’s performance after the strong Christmas sales.
Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at Interactive investor, said: “Next continues to wade through treacle, with further online growth being offset by another blow to its retail business. Even so, the group is continuing to navigate a difficult time with aplomb… With its famed expertise in financial management, Next is a prime example of scenario planning and tends also to lean on the side of caution.”
Next is also facing delivery disruptions due to supply chain traffic from the Far East. Chief executive, Simon Wolfson has said that stock levels are expected to “return to more normal levels by the end of March”.
“At present, many of our deliveries are running two to three weeks late and we expect this level of disruption to continue into the new year. Our stock levels are currently down,” said the retailer.
The retailer has predicted profits of £670m for the next year.