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Next online sales up 11.2pc over Christmas

FASHION retailer Next recorded a boost in sales over the festive period of 0.8pc and 11.2pc online.

Shares in the company, which has shops in Ireland and the UK, jumped by 2.7pc in London after the announcement that it expects to deliver a profit of as much as £625m (€770m).

However, Next urged caution and said there had been "little change" in the consumer environment since October.

"Sales growth in the fourth quarter has been in line with the rest of the year and in line with the forecast we gave in our October statement," it said. "Although sales have been in line with expectations, cost control measures, markdowns and gross margins have all been slightly better than expected."