Full-price sales at Next in Q3 (to 24th October 2020) were better than anticipated, up +2.8% YoY, while total sales (including markdowns) were up +1.4%.
The retailer is now is now forecasting full-year profit before tax of £365m (£65m higher than previously suggested), based on a 'central' scenario in which some further lockdowns occur (a more pessimistic 'downside' model involving two weeks of nationwide store closures would likely see sales drop by some -20% rather than just -8%, Next suggests).
Online sales during the quarter were up +23.1%, and those from physical retail stores down -17.9%. Home was again among the over-performing categories.
Next states that it is well prepared for Brexit, trade agreement or not, having set up the administrative, legal and physical infrastructure that will be needed to operate effectively at the end of the current transitional arrangements.