Next’s full price sales have exceeded expectations in the eleven weeks to 17 July with an increase 18.6% on two years ago. The fashion and homeware retailer’s previous central guidance assumed an uplift of 3%.

As a result, Next has increased its full price sales guidance for the rest of the year from growth of 3% to 6% and has also raised its central guidance for full year pre-tax profit by £30 million to £750 million.

In the retailer’s second quarter to 17 July, total online sales climbed by 44%, although sales were down 6% in Next’s high street stores. Next said the strong performance was driven by pent-up demand for adult clothing, the onset of extremely warm weather at the end of May and the start of June. and customers taking fewer holidays overseas which made it more likely that they would spend in the UK.

The retailer said it has now decided to repay £29 million of business rates relief to the Government after consulting with major shareholders.