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(Reuters) – Britons splashed out on a bumper Christmas, results from the country’s biggest retailers show, treating themselves to upmarket food, drink and clothes before the sober reality of surging prices hits home in 2022.
The following is a summary of what major retailers have said so far about their performance over the holiday season.
Britain’s biggest retailer raised its profit outlook for the second time in four months as it reported a rise in Christmas sales despite a tough comparative with 2020 when spending was boosted by a COVID-19 lockdown.
MARKS & SPENCER
One of the biggest names in the industry, M&S nudged up its profit outlook after it reported a strong Christmas performance, particularly in food, where it outperformed the market.
Online fashion retailer ASOS reiterated its already downgraded outlook after supply chain constraints and volatile demand limited sales growth in the four months to the end of December.
The UK’s second biggest supermarket group raised its full-year profit forecast by at least 9% on Wednesday after grocery sales over the Christmas quarter beat its expectations, even though they fell short of its stellar 2020 festive performance.
Britain’s biggest sportswear retailer raised its annual profit forecast for the second time in four months on Wednesday as shoppers splashed out on sportswear during the holidays and U.S. consumers spent their stimulus cheques on the latest trends.
The British homewares and furniture retailer reported record Christmas sales on Wednesday, putting it on track to soundly beat profit forecasts and lifting its shares.
The British arm of German discount supermarket group Lidl said on Tuesday its sales rose 2.6% in the four weeks ending Dec. 26 year-on-year as it benefited from shoppers switching from other grocers.
The British arm of German discounter Aldi said on Monday its Christmas performance was boosted by record sales of its premium range and strong demand for beer, wine and spirits, with its sales up 8.1% versus 2019.
Next raised its full-year profit outlook for a fifth time in 10 months last week after beating guidance for sales in the run-up to Christmas, boosted by an unexpected revival in demand for adult formal and occasionwear.
The food-to-go retailer said on Jan. 6 it anticipates its full-year outcome would be slightly ahead of its previous expectations, after reporting a 0.8% rise in like-for-like sales for its fourth quarter compared to two years ago.
B&M European Value Retail SA forecast annual profit ahead of estimates, following the discount retailer’s decision to take delivery of imported stock earlier than usual.
Factbox-How UK retailers fared over Omicron-hit Christmas
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