January 3, 2019 / 7:16 AM / 6 months ago

UK's Next confounds fears of dire Christmas with sales rise

LONDON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - British clothing retailer Next reported a rise in sales in the run-up to Christmas in line with its own expectations, confounding fears of poor festive trading.

Next, the first major listed retailer to update on Christmas trading, said on Thursday total full price sales including interest income rose 1.5 percent in the period from Oct. 28 to Dec. 29, the bulk of its fourth quarter. That outcome compared to third quarter growth of 2.0 percent.

For the full 2018-19 year Next is forecasting full-price sales growth of 3.2 percent and pretax profit of 723 million pounds versus 726.1 million pounds made in 2017-18.

It was previously forecasting sales growth of 3 percent and profit of 727 million pounds. (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)

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