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Next expects difficult period after recording £621m profits
SALES WARNING: High street fashion chain Next has said it expects trading to remain tough, despite posting a nine per cent rise in profits.
The company, which has 541 stores, including outlets in Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Durham, saw profits rise to £621.6m and revenues from its online business increase by 9.5 per cent to £1.2bn.
However, chairman John Barton said it was expecting another difficult year, despite hoping to increase profits to £665m this year.
SOCIETY AWARD: A building society has won a national award for its community support. Darlington Building Society was given the Mortgage Finance Gazette award for community services.
It was the sixth time the building society has picked up the accolade in 11 years, and was highlighted for its work in helping young enterprise in the North-East through the Vibe Awards, organised by Darlington Borough Council.
Chris Leech MBE, corporate adviser at membership organisation Business in the Community, said: “The society has demonstrated extensive community support over many years to transform communities and its consistent responsible business approach has achieved inspirational results.”
MAKER SUCCESS: A North-East furniture maker has won top industry awards for the standard of his work.
Rupert McBain, based at Winston, near Darlington, has been given the Guildmark award by the Worshipful Company of Furnituremakers for two commissions, and picked up a Britain's Wood Award for an oak table.