Next has released its annual financial results, reporting the first drop in annual profits for eight years and confirming predictions of a difficult period for the fashion retailer.
Underlying pre-tax profits dropped by 3.8 per cent to £790.2 million for the year to January, marking the first decline since 2008 in the depth of the credit crash.
Prices at the retailer were confirmed to have risen by four per cent to account for the rising cost pressures brought on by the Brexit vote.
The high street chain is considered a bellwether for the fashion industry and raised alarms in January after it stated it was preparing for “tougher times” following a disappointing fourth quarter.
Today’s results compound these fears, with Next’s chief executive Lord Wolfson warning of another difficult year for retailers ahead.
“The year ahead looks set to be another tough year for Next,” he said.
“We remain clear on our priorities going forward. We will continue to focus on improving the company’s product, marketing, services, stores and cost control.”