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UK’s Next upgrades profit forecast again after strong sales

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British fashion retailer Next upgraded its full-year profit guidance for the third time in as many months after full-price sales in its third quarter exceeded its expectations.

The company, which does more than half of its sales online, said full-price sales rose 2.8% in the 13 weeks to Oct. 24, its fiscal third quarter.

It said its full-year pretax profit was now forecast at 365 million pounds, 65 million pounds higher than its central scenario given in September.

However, it added there was a high degree of uncertainty in its estimates, and the biggest risk was whether England, Scotland and Northern Ireland would follow Wales’ decision to shut non-essential retail shops as part of tougher COVID measures.

Next said its online sales were strong in the quarter, showing a rise of 23.1%, offsetting a 17.9% drop in retail.

Home and childrenswear continued to perform well, it said, while demand for men’s and women’s formal and occasion clothing remained weak.

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