Next plc has reported full price sales for the 14 weeks to Monday 7 May were up by 6% on last year.
Sales in its online business were particularly strong and increased by 18.1%, driven by the growth of NEXT branded stock and third party brands on the UK platform along with continued growth from our overseas business. Retail sales took a hit, with the company reporting a loss of 4.8%.
Next said in its report: "Sales in the first quarter were better than we expected and around £40m ahead of our internal forecast, boosted in recent weeks by unusually warm weather. This sales over-performance adds around £12m to our full year profit and we are therefore increasing our central guidance for Group profit accordingly.
"At our results presentation in March we set out our guidance for the full year. At that time, we anticipated that the sales performance in the first quarter would be flattered by the under-performance of our ranges in the same period last year, so we did not expect sales for the rest of the year to be as strong as the first quarter. We still believe this will be the case."
Full price growth for the retailer is up by 6% and the estimate for the rest of the year is an increase of 1% and the full year a rise of 2.2%.
Next said the estimate for the rest of the year looks "overly conservative" however the company believes it to be a more realistic approach.