UK fashion retailer Next pushed up its full-year profit forecast as warm weather boosted first-half sales.
The company, whose analysis of sales trends is closely watched by the rest of the industry, said it now expected full-year pre-tax profit of £860mn, up £10mn on its previous expectation and 4.5 per cent ahead of last year.
It said in-store sales were “much better than anticipated” in the second quarter, growing 12 per cent on last year and 4.7 per cent on pre-Covid levels, bucking a longstanding trend of gradually falling store sales.
Next attributed this to the disappearance of competitors such as Arcadia and consumers feeling more confident about going into physical stores.
However, the group said it was not counting on robust sales growth enduring through the second half of the year, as the weather-related boost would fade and discretionary incomes would come under more pressure.