Strong holiday sales boost Next share price

<p>Next’s share price is up this morning.</p>

The share price of Next is up this morning (January 3rd) after the retailer announced strong sales for the festive period in the UK.

John Lewis and House of Fraser released their sales data earlier in the week, with Next revealing it saw sales rise by almost 12 per cent between the start of November and Christmas Eve.

Next noted that this is "significantly" beyond its own expectations for the Christmas period and raised its forecast for full-year profits as a result, increasing its predictions to between £684 million and £700 million.

While Christmas proved to have a positive impact on sales for House of Fraser, Next and John Lewis, the story was not quite the same for Debenhams, which was forced to lower its profits forecast after sales did not reach the expected levels.

Sales data

Sales at Next stores rose by 7.7 per cent, but it was online where the retailer made major gains in the 2013 festive period compared to the year before. The company announced that it recorded a 21 per cent gain between November 1st and December 24th.

Next said: "The problem of little or no growth in real earnings looks set to persist for some time, and we cannot see any reason to expect a significant increase in total consumer spending in the year ahead. We are also wary that any return to significant economic growth is likely to result in rising interest rates which, in turn, is likely to moderate spending of those with mortgages."

The share price of Next rose strongly this morning on the back of the rise in its sales figures and the firm increasing its full-year profit forecast. In the early stages of trading on the London Stock Exchange, stocks in the company were more than eight per cent higher and still rising.

By 08:09 GMT, the share price of Next was around nine per cent up on the start of the day, with stocks selling for 5,940.00, up 490.00 for the session.

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