Next forecasts an even higher pandemic profit

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The high street stalwart made a pre-tax profit of £346.7million for the six months to the end of July, after a £16.5million loss last year and a £327.4million profit in 2019. Group revenues were £2.1billion – up 59 percent on last year and 5.2 percent higher than they were prior to the Covid outbreak.

As a result, Next chief executive Lord Wolfson expects the retailer to make full-year profits of around £800million, an increase of £36million on its July forecast.

However, he added that growth is likely to slow. He said: “The last six months have been much better than expected and it has continued into August and September.

“The bad news is the boost we got from pent-up demand, record savings ratios and people taking fewer holidays overseas will begin to diminish.”

He said higher shipping costs mean shoppers will probably have to pay more, with homeware prices likely to rise six percent.

Elsewhere, retail magnate Mike Ashley saw investors stage a pay revolt at the annual meeting of his Frasers empire, where 13.7 percent voted against its remuneration report.

Additionally, fashion retailer Quiz has returned to the black with a full-year pre-tax profit of £6million, compared with a £29.4million loss the previous year after selling off parts of its business.

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