Next’s Christmas profits better than expected, buoyed by online sales

Chief executive warns that gains will be almost entirely offset by latest Covid restrictions

Next has emerged as a winner from a tough Christmas period as sales transferred from shuttered stores to its website, but the fashion chain warned new lockdown measures would wipe out the extra profit it had made.

The retailer’s chief executive, Simon Wolfson, said profit from better than expected sales in November and December would be almost entirely offset by this month’s new lockdown restrictions in England that would force its stores to close, as well as costs stemming from the disruption to its important traditional Boxing Day sale.

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