China next for Next's online expansion

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The Independent Online

Next will launch an own-language website in China this autumn, as the fashion retailer seeks to capitalise on booming online revenues.

The clothing and homewares group will update on the latest phase of its online expansion overseas alongside half-year results which are likely to show another marked difference in the performance of its high street stores and Next Directory business.

Next delivers to 57 countries, including goods ordered from its Russian and German-language websites.

Analysts at Investec forecast Next will post a 1.9 per cent rise in total sales over the six months to 31 July. This comprises a 3 per cent fall in store sales and an 11.7 per cent leap from its online and catalogue business. Next has previously suggested annual profits of between £560m and £610m.