Next said it would see end of year pre-tax profit of between £750m and £790m. Reuters

High Street retailer Next said its sales for the full financial year will be better than expected after a decent start to 2014.

A squeeze on consumer finances is ending as wage growth picks up amid the UK's strengthening economic recovery, a boost for the country's retail sector.

Next said its sales were up 10.8% on the year in the 13 weeks to April 26. As a result, it lifted its full-year guidance for sales growth to 5.5% to 9.5%, up from 4% to 8%.

That suggests a profit before tax of between £750m and £790m.

"This new guidance might look conservative in the light of the first quarter's performance," said Next.

"However, we always expected the first quarter to show above average sales growth as the comparative period last year suffered from a particularly cold spring and Easter holiday period."

But David Alexander, consultant at retail analyst Conlumino, warned that though Next's future "undoubtedly looks bright, it is unlikely to be plain sailing".

"The climate of discounting amid intense competition on the high street led to the British Retail Consortium's shop price index falling by 1.7% during March, its sharpest decline since the index began in 2006," he said.

"With the success of discount fast fashion retailers like Primark fuelling an escalating price war amongst fashion retailers, Next is unlikely to remain immune and its margins will surely come under some pressure.

"That said, recent profit increases at Lord Wolfson's powerhouse show that if any retailer is equipped to whether this storm, Next is."