Next puts rivals in the shade

Clothes retailer Next is forecast to beat most of its high street rivals with a £66m surge in pre-tax profits to around £635m when it reports full year results on Wednesday.

Simon Wolfson, the chief executive, will also report its shops had a good year, with profits up around 12.4 per cent to £325m. Next has become the 27th British sponsor for the London 2012 Olympics. Meanwhile, analysts are warning of a difficult year ahead for Sainsbury, which will give a trading update on its fourth quarter on Thursday.

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