Shares in retailer Next (LON:NXT) were boosted by news it has “modestly” increased its profit guidance for the next year after reporting improved sales in its first half.
Next said it is now expecting pre-tax profit of between £575 million and £620 million for the year up to January 2013, up from its previous guidance of between £560 mln and £610 mln.
Shares rose up to 5.5 per cent on the back of the news, which has has shown Next's resilience to a gloomy retail environment.
Overall sales were up 4.5 per cent in the 26 weeks to 28 July 2012, compared to the same period last year driven by the performance of its catalogue and online Directory business, which increased sales by 13.3 per cent in the half.
The clothing and homeware retailer said lower like-for-like retail sales had been offset by performances at its new stores resulting in overall growth of 0.2 per cent.
Sale stock for its end of season sale increased by 8.7 per cent from the same period last year, but the firm said cash recovery was as expected.
After a £200 million share buy back it expects full year EPS to grow by 6 percent more than the growth in pretax profit.
The shares are up 5.3 per cent to 3391 pence.