March 21, 2019 / 7:22 AM / a month ago

UK's Next profit edges lower on falling store sales

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - British clothing chain Next met guidance with a 0.4 percent fall in annual profit on Thursday, hurt by falling store sales, and forecast another decline in the 2019-20 year.

The firm said it made a pre-tax profit for the year to end-Jan. 2019 of 722.9 million pounds ($955.7 million) - in line with company guidance but a third straight decline.

For the 2019-20 year Next forecast full price sales to increase 1.7 percent, with profit of 715 million pounds. But it expects earnings per share to grow 3.6 percent, reflecting share buybacks. ($1 = 0.7564 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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