British clothing and homeware retailer Next has reported a 4.5% increase in total product full-price sales for the second quarter (Q2) of the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23).

The company’s total full-price sales, including interest income, grew by 5.0% from the same period of the prior year and by 23.8% from 2019-20.

During the three months to 30 July, Next’s full-price online and retail sales rose by 0.2% and 12.0% respectively from a year earlier.

Compared with three years earlier, the retailer’s full-price online and retail store sales increased by 44.4% and 4.7% respectively.

In a statement, Next said said: “During Q2, Retail’s full price sales performance has been much better than we had anticipated and up by 4.7% against three years ago.

“We had planned that our stores would be down against 2019, following the long run of negative like-for-like retail sales we have experienced since 2016.

“We suspect that the apparent improvement in the fortunes of our stores is, to some extent, down to the number of competing stores that have closed in the last three years.

“This is supported by ONS industry statistics for February to June, which suggest that the total money spent on clothing in all UK retail stores is down -6% compared to three years ago.”

Next also registered strong sales for the first half of FY23, driven by a sharp reversal of last year’s lockdown trends and recovery in retail stores and online businesses.

Despite this, the company expects its sales guidance for the remainder of the year to be at +1%.

It has forecast a full-year pre-tax profit of £860m, up by £10m on its previous expectation and 4.5% compared with last year.

Earlier this year, Next reported a 285% increase in retail sales for the 13 weeks to 30 April.