Reporting full year results today, NEXT plc (LON:NXT) (OTCMKTS:NXGPY) revealed that it had remained profitable throughout the pandemic, driven by the strength of its online offering.
- Profits of £42m were reported from sales down 17% to £3.6bn.
- The group will not pay a final dividend but expect to be able to resume payments to shareholders later in the year.
- The group sees profits recovering to pre-pandemic levels during the current year, assuming no further returns to lockdowns in the UK. The shares jumped 300p to 8166p in reaction to the numbers.
NEXT Is A Remarkable Business
Commenting on the figures Steve Clayton fund manager of the Hargreaves Lansdown Select funds, which hold NEXT plc shares said:
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“Profits may have more than halved, but to be reporting any sort of profit at all as a fashion retailer after a year like 2020 is a remarkable achievement. But NEXT is a remarkable business. The group saw the potential of online retailing years before their rivals took it seriously. As a result Next was earning most of its money online, even before the pandemic struck. That has left it in a far stronger position than rivals like M&S (loss-making), or Arcadia and Debenhams (both now bankrupt). When NEXT does reopen their doors they will be perhaps the strongest of the survivors and Britons have saved up a lot of spending money during lockdown. We see NEXT as incredibly well positioned to generate profit and cash in the years ahead”.
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