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03rd of July 2011
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Next warns of challenging times ahead

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by Kay Mitchell

Next, which is Britain’s second largest fashion retailer, has today said consumers are tightening their purse strings in the face of soaring inflation and Government spending cuts.

The retailing giant announced record profits but has warned of challenging times ahead for the High Street.

It shares jumped 5% earlier today after posting record profits of £551 million for the 2010 year - 9% higher than 2009 levels.

Chairman John Barton comments: “Increases in VAT, cotton prices and labour rates in many of the countries in which we source means the price of our products are rising at a time when our customers are experiencing increased demands on their income.”

Meanwhile, B&Q owner Kingfisher has today posted a 22.5% increase in annual profit but also spoke of a challenging environment in the short-term.

Yesterday, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s posted slower growth, which it attributed to consumers cutting back on their spending.

Like-for-like sales at the UK’s third largest supermarket chain grew 1% in the 10 weeks to March 19, missing expectations of a 2.4% growth rate and slower than the 3.6% reported in the previous quarter.

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News posted: March 24, 2011

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