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What’s the first drop in profits for eight years between friends?

Investors appear unfazed by the latest results from Next, which revealed a rare 3.8 per cent decline in annual profits.

At pixel time, shares are up by some 5.5 per cent, taking the retailer to the top of the FTSE 100 and indeed, top of the Eurostox 600 index too.

The cheery reaction may reflect the fact that the retailer clearly has a plan to get back on track, including a shift to less edgy fashion. It’s also likely that a lot of the bad news had already been priced in after a gloomy post-Christmas trading update. Even after today’s rise, shares are still down almost 18 per cent for the year to date.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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