Next lifts profit guidance on strong sales

Clothing retailer Next this morning upped its profit forecast on the back of strong pre-Christmas sales.

It now expects profit to come in at between £611m and £625m, up from previous guidance of between £590m and £620m.

Next cited better-than-expected cost control measures, markdowns and gross margins for the hike.

Strong pre-Christmas sales boosted Next, as it reported a 3.9 per cent increase in total sales from 1 November to 24 December, with 11.2 per cent coming from the Next Directory brand.