Retailer Next has lowered its profit forecast for the financial year following a decline in sales in the first quarter.

Full price sales for the three months to 29 April fell 3% from a year earlier, mainly due to an 8.1% drop in sales in the retail division. Sales in the directory arm, which includes the online and catalogue business, were up 3.3%.

The firm warned that the UK consumer environment remained "challenging" and lowered its full-year sales guidance range to -3.5% to 0.5% from -3.5% to 2.5%.

It expects profits to drop between 13.9% and 6.4% for the whole year, compared to the previous guidance range of -13.9% and -1.3%.

"The UK consumer environment remains challenging, particularly in the clothing and homeware markets, and real wage growth is now close to zero," the company said in a trading statement.

"In our full year results announcement in March we talked about omissions in some of our product ranges. We said that we expected some improvements from May onwards, but that our ranges would not be where we wanted them to be until the Autumn season in September.

"We still believe this to be the case."

Next reported its first fall in annual profit for eight years in March. It blamed its poor performance on consumers shifting spending away from clothing at a time of rising inflation and stagnant wage growth.