By  on July 29, 2014

LONDON (Reuters) — Next, Britain's second largest apparel retailer, raised its guidance for annual sales and profit for the second time in three months after a strong second quarter performance, helped by favorable weather and new store openings.

The group, which trades from over 500 stores in Britain and Ireland and about 200 stores in more than 40 countries overseas, as well as through its Directory internet and catalogue business, said Tuesday it now expected a 2014-15 pretax profit of 775-815 million pounds, or $1.32 to $1.38 billion at current exchange.

That compares to previous guidance of 750 to 790 million pounds, and would represent growth of 11 to 17 percent on the 695 million pounds made in 2013-14.

Next said total sales rose 10.7 percent in the 26 weeks to July 26, having been up 10.8 percent in the first quarter.

Store sales rose 7.5 percent, while Next Directory sales were up 16.2 percent.

Next raised its full year sales guidance to 7 to 10 percent from 5.5-9.5 percent previously.

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