Tag Archives: results

Next blames warm weather for ‘disappointing’ sales

next shop frontHigh Street retailer Next, which has its headquarters in Enderby, has blamed the warm weather in the final few weeks of last year for a “disappointing” trading performance in the run-up to Christmas.

A news item on the BBC website reports the company also said trading at its Next Directory online and catalogue operation had been difficult, due in part to poor stock availability.

Between 26 October and 24 December, sales at its High Street shops fell 0.5%, but rose 2% at the Directory arm.

Next, whose shares closed down 4.6%, lowered its full-year profit estimate.

The company, which has more than 500 stores, says it now expects annual pre-tax profits to be about £817m. This is at the lower end of its previous guidance issued in October, when it predicted profits of between £810m and £845m.

The retailer, which did not take part in some of the heavy discounting sales events at the end of last year, said in a statement:

“We believe that the disappointing performance in the fourth quarter was mainly down to the unusually warm weather in November and December.”

The statement also pointed to “mistakes and challenges” faced by the business.

“Specifically, we believe that Next Directory’s disappointing sales were compounded by poor stock availability from October onwards.”

In addition, Next said that online retailing was becoming tougher as competition intensified.
Nevertheless, the company said full-price sales for the year-to-date were 3.7% ahead of last year, just below the bottom end of Next’s previous guidance of a 4%-6% rise.

Tough market
Analysts said the figures, the first winter trading update from one of the big retailers, suggested other High Street firms may have struggled.

Neil Saunders, from retail analysts Conlumino, tweeted:

“Next’s lacklustre results do not bode well for the rest of the High Street; warm weather was the main source of its woes.”

Maureen Hinton from retail consultancy Verdict told the BBC that the results indicated a “very tough” market.

However, Phil Dorrell, a director at Retail Remedy, told the BBC that the figures were “pretty positive” for Next.

He told BBC 5 live that after other retailers have released their Christmas sales figures, the view could be: “Wow, Next did really well.”

The BBC also reported Mr. Dorrell also said he expects other high street giants like Marks and Spencer to report a decline in sales for the Christmas period when figures are released later this week

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35230418

Photo: BBC


Topps Tiles report falling sales

Tile and wood flooring chain Topps Tiles today said it was cutting costs after a fall in homeowners looking to decorate their houses.

The Enderby-based group said like-for-like sales have declined by 2.6 per cent in the eight weeks to May 25.

It also reported a 16 per cent drop in pre-tax profits, before one-off costs and gains, to £4.7 million in the six months to March 30.

Total revenue rose slightly to £87.4 million over the same period.

In response to weaker demand the company launched a cost-cutting programme in March.

Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams

Chief executive Matthew Williams said the programme was going well and repeated previous assurances it would not lead to job cuts.

Mr Williams said the cuts included a reduction in the hours staff worked at stores.

The group employs about 1,300 staff at 320 stores across the country, including 15 people at branches in Leicester, Market Harborough and Grove Park, Enderby.

The company employs 300 at its head office, also in Grove Park.

Item sourced from: Leicester Mercury