// Next increases its full year profit guidance after enjoying a bumper Christmas trading period
// Retailer records 20% rise on pre-pandemic festive sales despite low stock levels
// Next said it now expected to make £822m in annual profits
Next has registered £70 million more sales than expected over Christmas after a rise in online orders of party dresses and occasionwear.
The fashion retailer said it now expected to make £822 million in annual profits, £22 million more than previously expected and almost 10% ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
In the eight weeks to Christmas, Next said its sales rose 20% on 2019 despite suffering “materially lower” levels of stocks than it had hoped for.
The business said its delivery service had been affected by labour shortages in its warehouses and distribution networks.
“The fact that our sales remained so robust in these circumstances is, we believe, testament to the strength of underlying consumer demand in the period,” Next said.