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May 6, 2021, 2:33 a.m. EDT

Next lifts full-year pretax profit as sales bounce

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By Sabela Ojea

Next PLC said Thursday that sales have been recovering significantly recently, and that it is raising its fiscal 2022 pretax profit expectations.

The British retailer said sales have been exceptionally strong in the last three weeks, rising 19% in the period when compared with the same period in 2019, and that it has raised its central guidance for full-ear pretax profit by 20 million pounds ($27.8 million) to GBP720 million.

The FTSE 100 clothing retailer said total full-price sales including interest income declined 1.5% in the 13 weeks to May 1 when compared with two years ago, while total full-price product sales fell 0.6% in the period.

"Full price sales to date have been GBP75 million better than expected, adding around GBP20 million of additional profit to our forecast," it said.

The company said that it is maintaining its forecasts for the full year to be down 8% and that interest income in the first quarter declined 12% as expected.

Write to Sabela Ojea at sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix

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