City briefs: Next profits decimated; Clinigen reports strong year; Breedon ‘encouraged’

Profits at Enderby retail giant Next plummeted by 97% for the six months ending July, the firm reported this morning (September 17).

The firm posted profits of just £9m for the period – down from £320m on 2019 as the effects of the lockdown saw its high street business make a loss of £175m.

Sales were down 34% to £1.35bn.

Next announced earlier this week that it had taken a 51% share in lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret in a move that has saved 500 jobs.

Burton pharma firm Clinigen fared better in its full year results to the end of June.

The company saw revenues rise by 10% to £504.3m and profits before tax shoot up by 83% to £22.6m.

Clinigen said that trading to date at this early stage of the current financial year is in line with market expectations, with impact of COVID-19 continuing but at improved levels from Q4.

Meanwhile, Coalville building materials business Breedon has reported “encouraging” trading in a market update this morning.

The company delivered revenues for the first eight months of the year of £531m (2019: £624m), including a one-month contribution from our recently-acquired CEMEX assets in the UK.

A statement from Breedon said: “As a provider of an essential service, we have proved our ability to deliver a resilient performance despite unprecedented disruption, which gives us considerable confidence in the long-term outlook for our business.”