Next retailer
Next has lowered its sales guidance for 2016 after a 'difficult' third quarter Reuters

Retailer Next has reported a 3.5% fall in sales in the third quarter and has lowered its sales guidance for the calendar year.

The decline was mainly due to a 5.9% drop in sales in the retail division in what the firm described as a "difficult" quarter.

Sales in the directory arm were unchanged from a year earlier.

In a statement, Next said full price sales in August were subdued after the end-of-season sale in July, falling 7% year-on-year.

Sales in September fell 5.1% while October sales were up 1.3%.

Full price sales for the year to 31 October were down 1.5% on last year.

"We have narrowed our sales guidance to -1.75% to +1.25%; this compares to our previous range of -2.5% to +2.5%," Next said.

"The mid-point of our new sales range is marginally lower than previous guidance.

"However, cost savings have also been better than expected, so our central profit forecast remains unchanged at £805m."