Next has revealed "broadly flat" total sales for the year to January 2017, in what was a "challenging year" for the retailer.

Whilst total sales for Next Retail declined by -2.9%, sales for Next Directory increased by +4.2%, benefiting from improved stock availability, enhanced website functionality and the continued growth of Label and Directory overseas.

Next brand total sales were level with the previous year, but full-price sales were down -1.3%.

In all, total group sales were broadly flat, at £4.1b.

Next continued to invest in the business, spending £161m on new stores, warehousing and systems. Net debt increased to £861m.

After working with the company for 15 years, chairman John Barton plans to retire from the board on 1st August 2017, to be succeeded by Michael Roney.