Fashion and homewares retailer Next has reported a growth in both sales and profit during its first half of the year.
According to its latest half year trading update ending July 2019, total sales rose 3.7% to £2bn from £1.9bn.
Online sales gathered pace and over-took instore sales, rising by 12.6% from £892.3m to over £1bn.
In store sales represented £874.3m, down by 5.5% compared to its figure of £925.1m.
Group pre-tax profit increased 2.7% to £319.6m from £311.1m.
Next said that its Home category had seen an uplift of 41.4% to £16.4m from £11.5m and was the second highest area of growth as all three core category groups reported an increase in performance.
Over the last 18 months, Next said it had closed 17 mainline stores and it has monitored the impact on sales in nearby stores. It has seen around 25% of sales from the closed stores transfer to local stores.
Next added that it expects central guidance of full price sales growth of +3.6%, and estimates that Group profit before tax would be around £725m, up +0.3% on last year.