StockMarketWire.com - Clothing retailer Next said its 'full-price' sales grew by a better expected rate in the first quarter of its financial year.

Full-price sales for the 13 weeks to 27 April rose 4.5%, ahead of internal forecasts of a 3.2% rise.

'We believe this over performance versus forecast was mainly as a result of unusually warm weather over the Easter holiday period, which was particularly helpful to our retail stores,' Next said.

Physical stores sales fell 3.6% but online sales jumped 11.8%.

Next said it did not currently believe that the over-performance of the first quarter, which amounted to sales of around £10m, could be extrapolated through to the rest of the year.

Consequently, it stuck to its existing guidance for total full-price sales growth of 1.7% and a 1.1% fall in pre-tax profit to £715m.

Earnings per share was now seen growing at 3.4%, down from previous guidance of 3.6% owing to a recent rise in Next's share price, pushing up the cost of the company's ongoing share buy back.



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