Next sales rise fuelled by Directory

NEXT has seen a 4.1 per cent rise in overall sales in the 13 weeks to 1 May.

The retailer’s Directory was mainly responsible for the positive figure after it recorded a 7.2 per cent jump.

Total sales in shops only rose by 2.8 per cent.

The company said it was in line to top City profit forecasts – which have been estimated at £525-565m – for the full year.

However, Next urged caution in what it said would be a difficult year.

It said in a statement: "We remain very cautious in our outlook for the year ahead. Prior year comparisons become more demanding as the year progresses and we anticipate that a new Government will have to take action to tackle the budget deficit."