Next shares soar thanks to healthy Christmas sales

<p>Shares in Next have rallied thanks to healthy sales in the weeks leading to Christmas.</p>

Shares in Next have soared on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) this morning (January 3rd), thanks to the retailer's strong Christmas sales.

The fashion store reported total sales from November 1st to December 24th climbed by 3.9 per cent from the previous year, while online transactions increased by 11.2 per cent.

Next had reported an underwhelming summer as store footfall and interest in seasonal ranges declined on account of the poor weather.

Now, the firm expects profits for last year to be around £618 million – give or take £7 million – but it warned 2013's retail outlook would remain "subdued".

"We think it is unlikely there will be any dramatic change in the consumer environment in the year ahead," Next commented.

At 09:40 GMT, shares in Next on the LSE rallied by 2.1 per cent to a value of 3852.00p per share – marking a fresh 52-week high for the high street giant.

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