Financial Express (Holdings) Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).

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For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 2nd Floor, Golden House, 30 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NN. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.

WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU?

We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.

COOKIES

In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or part of our sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our sites.

HOW WE USE INFORMATION

We store and use information you provide as follows:

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We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

In order to provide support on the usage of our tools, our support team need access to all information provided in relation to the tool.

We will not disclose your name, email address or postal address or any data that could identify you to any third party without first receiving your permission.

However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.

ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION AND CORRECTION

We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

WHERE WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.

OTHER WEBSITES

Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

CONTACT

If you want more information or have any questions or comments relating to our privacy policy please email publishing@financialexpress.net in the first instance.

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Next PLC (NXT)

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Friday 03 January, 2014

Next PLC

Trading Statement

RNS Number : 8209W
Next PLC
03 January 2014
 



Date:

Embargoed until 07.00hrs, Friday 3 January 2014

 

 

Contacts:

Lord Wolfson, Chief Executive

 

David Keens, Group Finance Director

 

NEXT PLC

Tel:  0844 844 8888

 

Alistair Mackinnon-Musson

Email: next@rowbellpr.com

 

Rowbell PR

Tel:  020 7717 5239

 

 

Photographs:

http://press.next.co.uk/media/company-images/campaignimages.aspx

 

 

Next Plc

January 2014 Trading Statement

Sales Performance to 24 December 2013

Sales in the fourth quarter have been significantly ahead of our expectations.  The table below sets out sales growth for the NEXT Brand, broken down into Retail and Directory.  Sales for the year to date are now +1.25% ahead of the top end of the guidance we gave in our October Interim Management Statement.

Sales (Vat ex)

01 November to 24 December

Year
to date

NEXT Retail

+7.7%

+1.2%

NEXT Directory

+21.0%

+12.0%

NEXT Brand Total

Of which net sales from new space

+11.9%

+5.0%

+2.0%


The graph below shows the £m growth over last year, on a week by week basis.   The last and first weeks on the chart are distorted by the fact that Christmas fell a day later this year.  So the week commencing 22 December benefits from an extra day, but week commencing 28 July excludes a day.
http://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/8209W_-2014-1-2.pdf

 

As a result of the strong run into Christmas, total stock for our End of Season Sale was down 11.5% on last year.  We expect final clearance rates to be marginally ahead of last year.

Profit and EPS Guidance for the Full Year to 25 January 2014

A strong fourth quarter has meant that sales are now ahead of the top end of our previous guidance.  As a result we are raising our profit forecast range, which is now £684m to £700m.  During the year we have purchased and cancelled 6.2 million NEXT shares, at a total cost of £296m.  The combination of profit growth, share buybacks and a lower corporation tax rate should result in growth in underlying EPS of between 21% and 24%.  Our new guidance ranges are set out below.

Full Year Estimates

Year to January 2014

Guidance Lower end

Guidance Upper end

Group profit before tax

£684m

£700m

Growth in profit before tax

+10.0%

+12.6%

Share buyback expectation

£296m

£296m

Growth in basic EPS (vs last year 297.7p)

+21.6%

+24.5%

Outlook for the Year Ahead

The step-up in Christmas trade was mainly down to improvements in our seasonal knitwear, nightwear and gift offer. In addition, increased confidence in online deliveries meant that more customers continued to trade with NEXT Directory right up to the weekend before Christmas.  It is therefore very unlikely that the strength shown in this quarter will continue through the first half of the new financial year, and of course this year's success will present difficult comparative numbers in the fourth quarter next year.

As far as the consumer environment is concerned, it seems likely that the economy will continue to steadily improve with strong employment numbers driving a general recovery.  However, 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. 

Our budgets for the year ahead are based on growth in NEXT Brand sales of between 3% and 7%, and expect profit before tax to be up broadly in line with sales.  We will give more detailed guidance with our full year results, which we intend to announce on Thursday 20 March.

Share Buybacks and Special Dividends

At our results announcement in March 2013, we set out the rationale by which we would determine the maximum price at which the Company would buy back shares.  In September, based on an Equivalent Rate of Return (ERR) of 8% and achieved annualised profits of £642m our price limit was around £52.00 per share.  Since late October our shares have traded above this limit and, as a result, the Company has not bought back shares.

We are now faced with a question as to what to do with the accumulated surplus cash (we already generate more cash than can be invested productively in the on-going development of the business).  We have three main options; (a) retain cash for future buybacks, (b) increase the ordinary dividend, or (c) distribute surplus cash by way of a special dividend.  Given that interest rates are so low, it makes little sense for the Company to accumulate cash and a substantial increase in the ordinary dividend would hinder the Company's ability to buy back shares if the share price were to rapidly fall at some point in the future.

Consequently, we have decided to pay a special dividend of 50p per share.  The cost of £75m approximates to the cash we would have used for buybacks in the period October 2013 to January 2014.  This dividend will be paid on 3 February to shareholders on the register at 17 January, so the shares will trade ex-dividend from 15 January.

In the year ahead, we currently expect to generate and return a further £300m of surplus cash.  This will be returned either through further quarterly special dividends or buybacks, depending on the share price.

We will continue to revise our buyback share price limit as the Company's profits change.  As outlined in today's trading statement, we are now confident of achieving an annual profit of around £692m in the current year (the midpoint of our guidance range).  With 155 million shares outstanding, an 8% ERR gives a new share price limit of around £58.  If our shares trade consistently above this limit, and as a result we do not buyback shares, we will pay a further 50p special dividend in May and thence quarterly going forward until such time as a lower share price, or higher profits, allows us to return meaningful sums of money through share buybacks.  We will give notice of our intention to pay any future special dividends approximately three months in advance of their payment.

In essence we are introducing a rolling quarterly special dividend, which will stay in place as long as our share price remains consistently above our buyback limit.  This arrangement will ensure the Company continues to return surplus cash to shareholders, whilst maintaining the flexibility to return to buying back shares if and when our price earnings ratio returns to levels commensurate with an 8% ERR.

 

ENDS

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
END
 
 
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