Next lowers profit forecast as retail sales plunge

Fashion retailer Next has cut its full-year profit outlook once again after recording a sharp fall in sales for the first quarter of the year.

Retail sales plunged 8.1%, while total sales slipped 3% in the first three months. Next was kept afloat by its directory sales, which climbed 3.3%.

The high street retailer warned that the UK consumer environment “remains challenging” as it cut the top end of its profit forecast. It now expects full-year profits of between £680m and £740m compared with an earlier forecast of £680m to £780m.

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In March, Next has recorded its first drop in full-year pre-tax profits since 2009 and warned of another tough year to come.

The fashion retailer said underlying profits fell 3.8% to £790m, while total sales fell 0.3% to £4.1m.

Next currently stocks branded lingerie by Pour Moi?, Boux Avenue, Gossard, Ultimo, Figleaves and Wonderbra.

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