Independent auditor's report to the members of next plc

We have audited the financial statements of NEXT plc for the year ended 26 January 2013 which comprise the Consolidated Income Statement, the Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income, the Consolidated Balance Sheet and Company Balance Sheet, the Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity and Company Statement of Changes in Equity, the Consolidated Cash Flow Statement and Company Cash Flow Statement, Accounting Policies and the related Notes 1 to 32 and C1 to C7. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") as adopted by the European Union and, as regards the parent company financial statements, as applied in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006.

This report is made solely to the Company's members, as a body, in accordance with Chapter 3 of Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Company's members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor's report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Company and the Company's members as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.

Respective responsibilities of directors and auditor

As explained more fully in the Directors' Responsibilities Statement, the directors are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view. Our responsibility is to audit and express an opinion on the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). Those standards require us to comply with the Auditing Practices Board's Ethical Standards for Auditors.

Scope of the audit of the financial statements

An audit involves obtaining evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or error. This includes an assessment of: whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the Group's and the parent company's circumstances and have been consistently applied and adequately disclosed; the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by the directors; and the overall presentation of the financial statements. In addition, we read all the financial and non-financial information in the Annual Report and Accounts to identify material inconsistencies with the audited financial statements. If we become aware of any apparent material misstatements or inconsistencies we consider the implications for our report.

Opinion on financial statements

In our opinion:

  • the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Group's and of the parent company's affairs as at 26 January 2013 and of the Group's profit for the year then ended;
  • the Group financial statements have been properly prepared in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the European Union;
  • the parent company financial statements have been properly prepared in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the European Union and as applied in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006; and
  • the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 and, as regards the group financial statements, Article 4 of the IAS Regulation.

Opinion on other matters prescribed by the Companies Act 2006

In our opinion:

  • the part of the directors' Remuneration Report to be audited has been properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 2006; and
  • the information given in the Directors' Report for the financial year for which the financial statements are prepared is consistent with the financial statements.

Matters on which we are required to report by exception

We have nothing to report in respect of the following:

Under the Companies Act 2006 we are required to report to you if, in our opinion:

  • adequate accounting records have not been kept by the parent company, or returns adequate for our audit have not been received from branches not visited by us; or
  • the parent company financial statements and the part of the directors' Remuneration Report to be audited are not in agreement with the accounting records and returns; or
  • certain disclosures of directors' remuneration specified by law are not made; or
  • we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit.

Under the Listing Rules we are required to review:

  • the directors' statement, in relation to going concern;
  • the part of the Corporate Governance Statement relating to the Company's compliance with the nine provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code specified for our review; and
  • certain elements of the report to shareholders by the Board on directors' remuneration.

Nigel Meredith (Senior statutory auditor)
for and on behalf of Ernst & Young LLP, Statutory Auditor
Birmingham
21 March 2013

Notes:

  1. The maintenance and integrity of the Next plc website is the responsibility of the directors; the work carried out by the auditors does not involve consideration of these matters and, accordingly, the auditors accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred to the financial statements since they were initially presented on the website.
  2. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions