Next – all thanks to the pandemic and its aftermath – has witnessed its profit before tax for the year to January 2021 fall by 53 per cent to £342 million.
The renowned British fashion retailer saw its operating profit for the year also drop by 50 per cent to clock £384.2 million.
Total group sales haven’t been good – recording just £3.6 billion year-on-year at a fall of 17 per cent.
With stores frequently closed all through 2020 and lockdowns keeping consumers at home, the store revenue too dipped by a worrying 48 per cent to £954.5 million. Expectedly, e-commerce performance was better with a rise of 10 per cent to £2.3billion.
The only silver lining for the retailer in its 2020 performance was its steady online growth, which caused it to raise its profit guidance for 2021/2022.
More on this, Michael Roney, Chairman, Next, said “We expect the shift in consumer behaviour towards online sales to continue for some time and one of our priorities during the year has been to continue the development of our online platform.”
He also said that the retailer has accelerated a part of its planned capital expenditure in the e-commerce business by spending £121 million on warehousing and systems.
Last month, Next had also revealed its plans of acquiring 25 per cent equity stake in British fashion brand Reiss.
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