Next delivers profit rise, plans more Home stores

Next saw pre-tax profit rise 4.1% to £498m and group revenue up 1.4% to £3,329m in the year to end January 2008.

Next delivers profit rise, plans more Home stores

The company said the results were good in a period of economic slowdown and reflected efforts to build and improve the Next brand.

During the year, as well as the established Home store in Glasgow Braehead, Next opened standalone Home stores at Thurrock Retail Park and on Tottenham Court Road, London. The Home business continued to grow throughout 2007, and the company says it represents an important opportunity in a sector where it sees further consolidation on the cards.

Next is planning to open at least five more Home stores this year.

Next Directory sales increased 3.3% during the year, and the company says it continues to extend the offer of Next-branded product, particularly in the home furnishings area.

The company warned that trading conditions in the year ahead would continue to be difficult as increased costs and rising taxes put pressure on customers. It said that extending the product ranges would offer the best protection against any downturn and that its directory business in particular would make that possible.

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