London 2012 Olympics boosts Next

BRITISH success at the ­Olympic and Paralympic Games has given sales at clothing retailer Next a boost, as the high street ­giant this week prepares to unveil a rise in profits.

BRITISH success at the ­Olympic and Paralympic Games has given sales at clothing retailer Next a boost, as the high street ­giant this week prepares to unveil a rise in profits.

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The clothing and homewares chain, which has around 540 stores, is expected to report a 7 per cent increase in pre-tax profits in the 26 weeks to 28 July to £244 million, despite being affected by heavy rainfall in June.

Total sales rose by 4.5 per cent in the period, with a significant improvement in the second quarter, as outlet sales edged 0.2 per cent ahead and its online sales surged 13.3 per cent.

Matthew Taylor, an analyst at Numis Securities, said: “There may have been some benefit from Next’s position as official clothing supplier to London 2012, with Team GB items prominently displayed in stores, the main source of the trading uptick.”