By Adriano Marchese
Boosted by growing online sales, pretax profit for Next PLC rose 4% in the first half of its fiscal year.
For the six-month period ended July 27, the clothing and home-furnishings retailer /zigman2/quotes/200704121/delayed UK:NXT -1.12% made a pretax profit of 327.4 million pounds ($408.5 million), compared with GBP314.9 million this time in the prior year. Earnings per share, a preferred metric by the company, was 204.4 pence, up from last year’s 187.9 pence.
Revenue for the period rose 2.7% to GBP2.01 billion. Retail sales contributed GBP874.3 million to revenue, compared with GBP925.1 million a year earlier, while online sales rose this half with 13% growth, at GBP1.0 billion.
The board declared an interim dividend of 57.5 pence a share, compared with last year’s 55.0 pence.
The group maintained its guidance of GBP725 million in pretax profit for the year, and said that earnings per share is expected to rise 5.2%.