Marks & Spencer confident of outlook after buoyant Christmas trading
Marks & Spencer has reiterated its profit outlook after a strong Christmas trading period in which its food business performed particularly well.
In the 13 weeks to 1 January, UK sales climbed by 18.6% year-on-year after food sales increased by 12.4% on pre-pandemic levels two years ago. Clothing and home sales also strengthened to record a rise of 3.2% on a two-year basis.
Steve Rowe, M&S chief executive, said: “ Trading over the Christmas period has been strong, demonstrating the continued improvements we’ve made to product and value. Clothing and home has delivered growth for the second successive quarter, supported by robust online and full price sales growth.
“Food has maintained its momentum, outperforming the market over both 12 and 24 months. The market continues to be impacted by the headwinds and tailwinds that we reported in the first half, but I remain encouraged that our transformation plan is now driving improved performance .”
The retailer has now reiterated its full year outlook and expects pre-tax profit to be at at least £500 million if there are no further material Covid-19 restrictions or lockdowns.
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