Marks & Spencer posts fall in profit
Marks & Spencer has posted a 5.3% decline in first half profits as it reported that its chief finance officer is to step down.
While group revenue rose by 2.6% to £5.21 billion in the 26 weeks to 30 September, pre-tax profit before adjusted items fell to £219.1 million from £231.3 million in the previous year
Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer chief executive, said: “The business still has many structural issues to tackle as we embark on the next five years of our transformation, in the context of a very challenging retail and consumer environment. Today we are accelerating our plans to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth, making M&S special again.”
Like-for-like sales in the clothing and home category were down 0.7% in the period although full price sales increased by 5.3%. Revenue was level with the same period last year but grew in the second quarter as the retailer benefited from an “encouraging” performance from its new autumn range in September.
Food like-for-like sales edged down 0.1% as the retailer experienced a “challenging market environment”. Revenue in the category increased by 4.4% in the period as the company opened 24 new Simply Food stores.
Rowe added: “We have made good progress in remedying the immediate and burning issues at M&S I outlined last year. In clothing & home early results are encouraging and in international we now have a profitable and robust business. We recognise now that we face stronger headwinds in food which will be addressed in the year ahead.”
Marks & Spencer has also reported that its chief finance officer Helen Weir is to step down to “pursue a plural career”. The retailer said it has already commenced a search for her replacement.
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