Next to repay £29m in business rates relief

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Enderby-based retail giant Next says it has decided to repay £29m of business rates relief to the Government.

The decisions has been made by major shareholders of the company which, this morning (July 21) increased its guidance for full-year profits by £30m to £750m after it revealed that sales were up by almost 19% for the 11 weeks to July 17 – driven mainly by online revenue.

A statement by Next said: “Since our stores have reopened they have performed better than we expected, and we intend to repay any business rates relief we have received, or will receive, while our stores are open this year. This decision was taken after consulting major shareholders who, between them, account for around 30% of our shares in issue.

“Assuming that our stores remain open for the remainder of the financial year, we estimate the cost of this repayment will be £29m.”