High Street retailer Next has revealed its interim results for the 14 weeks to November 1st, saying that they are in line with previous guidance given in September.
Combined total sales for Next Retail and Next Directory for the period were up by 0.9 per cent.
Next Retail sales for up 0.3 per cent on last year. However, like for like sales in the 334 stores that were unaffected by new openings were down 4.4 per cent.
Tighter control of spring/summer stock resulted in fewer markdown sales in August, so full price sales performance was maginally better than total sales.
Next Directory sales were up 2.1 per cent on last year.
The retailer said that cash flow remains as expected and, subject to the important run up to Christmas, year-end net debt will be in the region of £670 million. This includes the £17m cost of acquiring the Lipsy clothing business at the end of September.
Outlook for consumer demand in 2009 remains mixed, with Next saying that, on balance, it expects negative like for likes to continue throughout next year, though not necessarily at any worse rate than the current year.