Sales at Next rose 2.7% in its third quarter to October 27.

The retailer said “stronger sales” in late September and early October made up for an “unusually quiet” start to August. It said the volatility of sales performance made it hard to draw conclusions from the period.

Next now expects full-year pre-tax profit to be between £590m to £620m, up 3.5% to 8.7%. It had previously forecast between £575m to £620m.

Store sales crept up 1.1% over the period while Directory growth slowed to 5.6%.

The retailer said the difference in performance from retail and Directory had narrowed because the “significant benefits” of the delivery improvements it made at the start of last year had annualised.

Next expects sales in its final quarter, which includes Christmas, to be broadly in line with sales for the year to date which are up 3.8%. Full-year sales are expected to be up 3% to 4.5%.