Next raises profit guidance for full year

Next has upped its full-year sales guidance for the second time in three months after witnessing a strong second quarter.

The retailer is now on course to record a pretax profit of £775 to £815 million.

That compares with the previous guidance of £750 to £790m, and would represent growth of 11-17% on the £695m made in 2013-14.

Next said today its brand sales rose by 10.7% in the 26 weeks ending July 26, helped by the opening of new shops.

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Retail sales were up 7.5% and Next Directory sales increased by 16.2%.

The company said sales were ahead of its 5.5% to 9.5% full-year guidance announced in April and that it was raising this range to 7% to 10%.

Next said the guidance "might appear overly cautious" but pointed out that the first-half performance compared with a period last year when sales were hampered by cold spring and Easter weather.

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