Like-for-like sales at Next plunged 8.9% in the quarter ended April 26 and total retail sales fell back 5% to £518.1 million against the previous year.
Next Directory sales fell 1% to £220.8m over the period, putting group sales 3.9% behind at £738.9m.
However, Next said the recent warm weather had given sales a boost and that like-for-like performance was running 7.8% down for the extended period between January 27 and May 7. The company said it expected like-for-like sales to be down around 7% for the first half.
Next said internal profit forecasts were closely in line with expectations but added in a statement that it was cautious about the outlook.
The statement said: “Financial pressures resulting from cost increases in food, fuel, mortgage repayments and taxation look set to continue. However, we continue to believe that sales in the second quarter will improve significantly as a consequence of last year’s unusual weather patterns and we have budgeted on this basis.”