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Home shines for Next

Nextss16Next has shown strong home and furniture sales as it warned profits could vary by more than £100m.

The chain says sales from 31 January to 2 May were down by 0.2%, with full price sales down 0.9%: it had forecast sales of between -1% to +4%.
Colder weather hit clothing sales in March and April, particularly over the Easter period, but it said full price home and furniture sales were 7% higher during the period.
Because of the performance of the past six weeks, which it said might be a ‘potentially wider slow-down in consumer spending’, it has lowered its full price sales forecast for the rest of the year to -3.5% to +3.5%. The lowest rate would mean sales carrying on as they have for the past six weeks.
As a result it says pre-tax profits will be between £748m and £852m (a fall of 8.9% and a rise of 3.7%).