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Next and Thorntons report online sales growth

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Next and Thorntons were today united in reporting online sales growth. But while the fashion retailer’s sales grew across the board, ecommerce proved the one bright spot for the chocolate manufacturer and retailer.

Next reported sales up by 3.2% in its first quarter, the 13 weeks to April 25. Next Directory sales, which predominantly take place online, grew by 9.2% during the period, with full price sales up by 7%. Meanwhile, Next’s store-based retail sales grew by 0.5%.

The company said it had benefitted from warmer weather in the spring, which coincided with the launch of a summer brochure, lifting sales by an estimated 0.6%.

The company left its full-year profit guidance unchanged: it predicts that sales will grow by between 1.5% and 5.5% in the full-year, compared to the previous year, while group pre-tax profits will grow by between 1.5% and 5.5% to between £785m and £835m.

Meanwhile, chocolate maker Thorntons reported total company sales 6% down in the third quarter of its year. Retail sales were also down, by 5.4%, and commercial sales by 6.1%. But consumer direct sales, which take place online, rose by 10.5%.

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