Fashion retailer Next has posted a 12% fall in pre-tax profits to £173.5m in the six months to July 26. The drop has reflected a wider ongoing decline in sales in the UK retail market.
The pre-tax profit result was down from £198.2m a year earlier, while like-for-like full-price sales from its 353 stores also fell 6%.
Sales for its home shopping business, Next Directory, did however record an increase of 2.2%.
As with all retailers Next is fighting against rising fuel, food and mortgages costs, with consumers tightening their spending.
The company says: “We can see no reason why there should be any recovery in consumer spending during the next six months.”
It is forecasting sales for autumn and winter to be between 4% to 7% lower than the previous year.
According to the latest British Retail Consortium survey, UK retail sales in August were hit by the wet weather, falling by 1% on a like-for-like basis compared to the same period last year. It was the fifth consecutive month the retail sector had recorded sales declines this year.
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