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Next Defies Recession as Share Prices Increase

Retail industry heavyweight Next defied the shrinking UK economy by posting impressive sales figures which have increased share prices across the company. The figures released from Next were so impressive they had Chief Executive Simon Wolfson refusing the notion that the UK is back in recession, and rubbishing talk that traditional retailers are in crisis.

Figures from Next show that sales for the first half of 2012 are up 4.5pc compared to the second half of 2011, a benchmark few rivals can match. This has left Next in a strong position, valued at £5.6bn by the stock market, compared to rivals Marks and Spencer who are currently valued at £5.4bn.

However of the 4.5pc rise in sales, only 0.2pc is attributed to shopping in store, while 13.3pc comes from Next Directory, the company’s online store.

It matters not however where the sales come from, and the strong position Next finds itself in is a credit to the company, according to Clive Black at Shore Capital. He described Next as a “class act”, and said the figures present a “challenging read-across” for M&S boss, Marc Bolland.

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