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UK retailer Next reports 1.1% drop in Christmas sales

LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - British fashion retailer Next said its sales in the nine weeks to 26 December were much better than it had expected, although an additional property provision of 40 million pounds resulted in it nudging down its pretax profit forecast.

The company said full-price sales in the Christmas trading period were down -1.1% on last year, beating its central guidance of -8% given in October, despite the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on trading in stores.

It forecast full-year pretax profit of 342 million pounds ($464.8 million). ($1 = 0.7358 pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton)

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