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Retail free view by Verdict for week ending Mar 28

Mar '06
In addition, new store openings, better sourcing and tight control of discounting helped Next increase pre-tax profits by 5.8 per cent to £449.1m in the year to January.

Ted Baker pushed up full-year pre-tax profits by 13 per cent to £18 million, on sales 11 per cent higher at £118 million. The company's use of 'Cool Britannia' sales themes in the US helped raise sales in the region to £8.3mn.

Kingfisher in the the home goods sector, has reported a 64 per cent decline in full-year group profits to £232mn following a £215mn exceptional restructuring charge. Before this charge, profits were already down to £448mn - £300mn lower than analysts had forecast at the start of 2005.

There was a 4.7 per cent rise in overall group sales, although underlying sales fell by 2.2 per cent. International operations were solid, with a 2.7 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in France, and a 3.9 per cent gain in like-for-like sales across the rest of Europe and Asia.

Kesa has reported a fall in group profits to £143.3mn for the year to January 31, against a previous annual total of £177.9mn. Sales rose by 3.6 per cent to £4.1bn. Kesa has reported that the falling prices of digital goods grew sales, but reduced margins.

Sales at the Comet chain fell by 3.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis, and by 0.5 per cent overall to £1.53bn.

Verdict, UK

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