UK fashion retailer Next Plc has reported mixed trading in the last 14 weeks but says despite an uncertain outlook it expects full year profit to be in line with earlier forecasts.

In trading update today (7 November), the retailer said combined sales of Next Retail and Next Directory for the 14 weeks to 3 November were up 0.4% compared to the same period last year.
 
Next Retail sales were level with last year, but like-for-like sales slipped 2.9%. Next Directory sales were up 1.2% in the period.
 
Despite a "significant improvement" in sales over the past eight weeks, the company cautioned "trading patterns remain extremely volatile with good sales in September giving way to a disappointing October." 

It added: "Whilst we are happy that we have made significant improvements to our product ranges, marketing and stores we remain cautious about the consumer environment, with many customers now experiencing considerable year on year increases in their mortgage repayments."
 
For the full year, the company says same-store Next Retail sales are likely to fall within a range of 1.0% to 3.5%, and that Directory sales will be between 0% and 2% up on last year.
 
Based on these sales ranges our current full year profit forecast for the group remains in line with market expectations.