M&S half year profits leap 75%

Mark and Spencer (M&S) has reported a more than 75 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for the 26 weeks ended 30 September.

Pre-tax Profits before tax stood at £360.2 million versus £205.5 million in the same six-month period of 2022.

Food sales grew by 14.7 per cent, which M&S said was influenced by factors including by further investment in "trusted value" and ongoing quality upgrades of products in key customer missions including ‘Dinner for tonight’ and ‘Events’.

The biggest food sales growth was seen in the retailer’s ‘Remarksable value’ line at 45 per cent, with products in the range featuring in over 20 per cent of customer baskets.

Clothing and home sales grew 5.7 per cent with growth of 17 and 18 per cent in women’s denim and casual bottom and holiday wear respectively.

M&S chief executive Stuart Machin said its strategy to “reshape M&S for growth” was the chief driver of strong first half performance, with actions including the retailer maintaining “relentless focus on trusted value” and giving customers “exceptional quality product at the best possible price.”

“I am clear that if we serve our customers well, we serve our shareholders well, and our unrelenting focus on trusted value is matched by disciplined capital allocation,” he said. “We have further strengthened our balance sheet and net debt position, with an interim dividend payment being made to shareholders for the first time in four years.”

M&S recently announced plans to open nine stores this November – the largest number opened by the retailer in a single month.

The company said the openings represented an investment of around £80 million and will support 2,200 local jobs across the UK.

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