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Next expected to issue glum trading update with Christmas sales falling flat

Next is expected to post a glum trading update next week. Norwich PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Next is expected to post a glum trading update next week. Norwich PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

Clothing retailer Next will be the first big high street store to post its trading update following the festive season - however the outlook for the brand isn’t expected to be rosy.

Analysis has forecast the chain will downgrade its full-year profit expectations, to show a 12.7% fall in store sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Current guidance for annual pre-tax profit stands at £727m but brokers Jefferies is pencilling in a figure of £705m, down from last year’s £726m.

The only saving grace for Next could be its online trading arm, which is expected to see a record sales rise of 10%.

Jefferies’ James Grzinic explained: “The combination of mild weather and Brexit-induced UK consumer weakness is bound to have impacted Next’s Christmas performance.”

The update comes at a difficult time for the retail sector, with recent data from Springboard suggesting footfall on Boxing Day plummeted 3.1%.

Even online has not been spared, with Asos issuing a pre-Christmas profit warning following a dire November.

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