Next annual profits show first fall for eight years

Next annual profits show first fall for eight years

High street giant Next has revealed its first fall in annual profits for eight years as it was hit by sliding sales and warned that 2017 is set to be "another tough year".

The retailer posted a 3.8% fall in underlying pre-tax profits to £790.2m for the year to January - the first fall in profits since 2008/09 at the height of the financial crisis.

Next confirmed it had hiked prices by 4% on average for the first half of the year and warned prices would remain under pressure in the second half from rising buying costs caused by the Brexit-hit pound.

Chief executive Lord Wolfson said: "The year ahead looks set to be another tough year for Next.

"We remain clear on our priorities going forward. We will continue to focus on improving the company's product, marketing, services, stores and cost control."

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