Next has upped its full-year profit forecast after online sales spiked in its first quarter.

The high street staple’s overall full-price sales climbed 6% in the 14 weeks to May 7, despite a 4.8% drop in store sales. 

Online sales spiked 18.1%, fuelling an overall performance that beat analyst expectations.

It attributed the online success to strong sales of both Next-branded stock and third-party brands. 

As a result, the fashion bellwether raised its full-year profit guidance. The group now expects to deliver pre-tax profits of £717m, or a 1.3% drop on last year versus the previously expected 2.9%. 

Next put the “better than expected” sales performance down to unusually warm weather. However, it remains cautious in its full-year sales outlook.

The retailer emerges from an “uncomfortable” 2017, during which pre-tax profits fell 8.1%.