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Wolfson rejects Next exit rumours

Next chief executive Simon Wolfson has denied speculation that his role at the chain was set to change in favour of a career in politics.

Speaking at the time of the high street chain’s interim management statement on Wednesday, he said: “I am not anticipating any change in my role in Next.”

Wolfson, who last month was understood to have rallied several major business leaders to write a letter opposing Labour’s proposed National Insurance contributions rise, has been put on a list of proposed peers by the Conservative Party.

Total first quarter sales at Next rose 4.1% in the 13 weeks to May 1. Next Directory sales continued apace, up 7.2% for the period, a sign that more people were migrating to online, said Wolfson.

Total retail sales were ahead 2.8% for the quarter and like-for-like retail sales were down 0.8%.

Internal pre-tax profit forecasts are at the top end of City forecasts which currently stand at between £525m and £565m.

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