March 23, 2018 / 7:22 AM / in 6 months

Next profit falls 8 pct, forecasts another decline in current year

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - British clothing chain Next reported a 8.1 percent fall in annual profit on Friday, meeting its latest guidance, and said it expected another decline in 2018-19.

The clothing retailer said it made a pretax profit for the year to end-Jan. 2018 of 726.1 million pounds ($1.03 billion), a touch above its central guidance of 725 million pounds but down from the 790.2 million pounds made in 2016-17.

It was a second straight decline in annual profit.

Next maintained the guidance for the 2018-19 issued in January - full price sales growth of about 1 percent, a 2.9 percent fall in pretax profit to 705 million pounds, but a 1.4 percent rise in earnings per share, reflecting its share buyback programme. ($1 = 0.7084 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey)

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