The UK's third biggest clothing retailer, Next Plc, has lowered its annual profit prediction after disappointing Christmas sales.

According to the company's chief executive Simon Wolfson, pre-tax profit will total £415 million to £425m, which is £5m lower than previously predicted. Wolfson also said that Next ended its winter clearance sale with too much inventory.

Some of the company's lines were not designed as well as they could have been -especially men's wear lines - according to Wolfson.

Total sales in the 20 weeks ended 24 December increased 12 per cent, while sames-store sales rose 0,5 per cent and Next Directory sales increasing 13 per cent.

Next plans to expand its retail space by 480,000 square feet in this financial year.