Next has performed better than its sales guidance for the first quarter but said it was “too early in the year” to alter profit guidance.

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Next sales fell 0.7% in the 13 weeks to April 29

In the 13 weeks to April 29, sales at the fashion and home retailer fell 0.7% but continued to be ahead of its guidance of -2%.

Online sales fell by 1.6% and in-store sales saw a 0.6% decrease compared with the same time last year.

Profit guidance for the full year remains unchanged with with profit before tax expected to be £795m.

Next said it was “too early in the year” to alter half- or full-year sales expectations on the basis of first-quarter performance.

However, the retailer adjusted its sales guidance for the second half to be 5% less compared with last year to maintain its first-half forecast. 

Next said: “To maintain our first-half forecast, we have moderated our sales forecast for the second quarter, which is now planned to be 5% down on last year (previous guidance was -4%).

“This adjustment seems reasonable as some of the first quarter’s success, particularly in holiday clothing sales leading up to Easter, might have been pulled forward from the second quarter.”