British clothing retailer Next raised its full-year profit outlook for the third time in four months as it reported a 4.8% rise in the first half.
The group, which trades from about 500 stores and online and is often considered a gauge of how British consumers are faring, also said on Thursday it was likely that inflationary pressures on selling prices and operating costs will continue to ease in its 2024/25 year.
For the full 2023/24 year it said it now expected to report pretax profit of 875 million pounds ($1.08 billion), versus a previous expectation of 845 million pounds and 870.4 million pounds made in the previous year.
It also raised its guidance for full price sales growth to 2.6% from 1.8% previously.
For the six months to July 29, Next made a pretax profit of 420 million pounds, on full price sales up 3.2%.