London, United Kingdom (AFP)
Shares in UK clothing retailer Next soared to the top of the London market Thursday after it said colder weather boosted purchases despite a cost-of-living crisis caused by sky-high inflation.
Next’s share price jumped seven percent to £65.26 ($78.53) on the benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was up modestly overall.
Sales of full-price items rose around five percent in the nine weeks to December 30 from a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
That beat its own guidance for a modest decline and sparked an upgrade to its final 2022 earnings due in March.
Annual pre-tax profit was now expected to climb 4.5 percent to £860 million ($1.0 billion) from the previous year.
That compared with prior guidance of £840 million.
Next said it experienced a “dramatic boost” to sales when the weather turned colder in December.
“We believe that the strength of demand for cold weather products in December was partly a result of pent-up demand from an unusually warm October and November,” it added.
However, the group expects sales to dip 1.5 percent over the year as a whole, with consumer sentiment dented by persistently high inflation.
© Agence France-Presse