Next (NXGPY) shares fell dramatically in London Wednesday after the British clothing and home retailer warned that a "difficult" winter season will spill into 2017.
Shares in the group fell 11.35% to change hands at at 4,220 pence each by at 8:40 GMT, extending the 52-week decline to 33%.
The U.K. retailer said its full-year 2016/2017 profit forecast would come in at £792 million. The company, which had previously stated a guidance range of £785 million to £825 million, noted that 2016/2017 guidance "may increase or decrease by £7 million depending on trade in January."
The company also said it expects to see pre-tax profit for its 2017/2018 financial year of between £680 million and £780 million, a range the sits below the £784 million average of analysts polled by Reuters.
The cut in guidance comes as the company reported weaker-than-expected sales. Sales for the 54-day period from Nov. 1 until Christmas Eve fell 0.4% and full-year sales were marked at +0.4% from 2015.
"The year ahead looks set to be another challenging year; therefore we are preparing the Company for tougher times and have set our full price sales budget accordingly," Next said. "The fact that sales continued to decline in quarter four, beyond the anniversary of the start of the slowdown in November 2015, means that we expect the cyclical slow-down in spending on clothing and footwear to continue into next year."
Next is often considered the bell weather for U.K. retailing and its warning could spell trouble for other retailers that are struggling under Brexit woes.
Next's plunged not only held down Britain's FTSE 100 in early Wednesday trading but also pulled retailers around the sector notably lower, including Marks & Spencer (MAKSY) , which lost 4.93% in early trading to 327.45 pence and Primark-owner Associated British Foods (ASBFY) was down 4.43% at 2.591 pence.
The FTSE 250 General Retailers Index was down 2.78% at 2,470.06.
The British Retail Consortium has warned that rising inflation due to the fall in the pound since the June 23 referendum will send prices higher in 2017. According to the BRC clothing and footwear saw prices increase 1.1% in December.
Indeed, Next said that it expects prices to rise on like-for-like garments, but no more than 5%.