Web sales help Next weather storm

High street retailer Next continues to be propped up by a strong performance at its online business as the tough consumer climate weighs on its stores.

The fashion and homewares chain, which has 536 stores, saw total sales rise 1.4% in the 13 weeks to April 28 as outlet sales fell 3.9% and online Next Directory rose 11.8%.

However, the FTSE 100-listed group said the quarter was up against tough comparatives last year, when the Royal Wedding and warm weather boosted sales.

Next, which has seen its share price rise 34% in the last year, held its full-year expectations for pre-tax profit of between £560m to £610m, compared to last year’s £570m.

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