High-street favourite Next has narrowed its same-store sales decrease on sales increases within both its retail and catalogue ventures.

Combined sales for Next Retail and Next Directory grew 9.8% from 1 August to 24 December compared to the same period last year, while same-store sales slipped 3.2% - a smaller decrease than that reported in September.

Next Retail sales were up 8.7% while Directory sales increased 13.7% in the period.

The company has subsequently upped its full-year pre-tax profit prediction to GBP435m (US$763.41m)-GBP450m, above market forecasts.

However, Next said it remains cautious for the first half of the New Year. It said in a statement: "Whilst we expect to grow sales from the addition of new space, we are budgeting for like-for-like sales to continue to run at approximately -3% over the next six months."

A spokesperson for Next told just-style: "The company's gross margin has improved since September. The increased share price reflects the market's positive reaction to this."