Next issues profit warning blaming milder weather for sales growth below expectations

The high street retailer Next has previously showed consistent growth under chief executive Lord Wolfson

A Next store on Oxford Street in Central London
A Next store

Clothing retailer Next has issued a profit warning following weaker sales in September and October, caused by mild weather.

The FTSE 100 firm said sales had grown at just over half the rate it had expected across its third quarter.

Sales across the period grew 5.8% compared with a forecast growth of more than 10%.

Accordingly, the high street chain has revised down estimates for full year sales from between +7% to +10%, to between +6% to +8%.

A statement to the firm’s shareholders said: “Given the volatility of current trading and the very strong fourth quarter performance last year, we have moderated our expectations for the fourth quarter this year.

“We are now budgeting for full price sales in the final quarter to be within a range of -2% to +4%, with our central profit forecast for the year based on final quarter sales of +1%. This compares to our initial fourth quarter expectation of +4%.”

Next expects pre-tax profits for the year to fall between £750m and £790m.

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