Combined retail and directory full price sales at Next were up 0.3% YoY in Q2 (up from -0.9% in Q1). Total sales including discounted product emerged +1.8% in the year to date, reflecting the large amount of stock sold through clearance sales.
New space added +1.5% to brand sales for the first half whilst Next Directory continued to benefit from growth in overseas sales and improved stock availability.
Next reports that in the medium-term the devaluation of the pound is likely to affect the cost price of its goods, but that there will be no effect on the year to January 2017 as the retailer has fully hedged its currency exposure.
The retailer reports that trading remains "extremely volatile" and is highly dependent on the weather on a week-by-week basis.
Connor Campbell, a senior market analyst at www.spreadex.com, comments: "There wasn’t a whole lot of good news in Next’s second-quarter update, a running theme for most of its updates this year. Although total sales jumped 1.8%, this was fuelled by cut rate prices, with the more instructive full-price sales dropping 0.3% as the strengthening online and directory battled with the high street’s perpetual decline.
"And while Next claimed it was too early to comment on any Brexit impact, adverse currency movements are already going to drive a 5% increase in the cost of materials."