THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Sports & Leisure
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
Marks & Spencer's pre-tax profits down 8.9% in half year

Marks & Spencer has reported an 8.9% drop in its first half profits after seeing clothing and homeware sales fall for a ninth consecutive quarter although the retailer said that it was seeing “early signs of improvement” following the launch of its new autumn/winter collections.


Marks & Spencer's pre-tax profits down 8.9% in half year

In the six months to 28 September, underlying pre-tax profit at M&S fell to £261.6 million from £287.3 million a year earlier. While food sales rose by 3.2% on a like-for-like basis in the second quarter, like-for-like sales of general merchandise dropped by 1.3% in the period.

During the six month period, multi-channel sales were up 28.5% with traffic to the retailer’s website continuing to grow as it increased its number of customers as well as the rate of conversion. M&S said that 55% of multi-channel orders are now collected in store or ordered in-store for home delivery.

Mobile sales grew by over 70%, with 140% growth in sales from tablets which now account for circa 25% of sales compared with 11% a year ago.

International sales increased by 8% on a constant currency basis to £0.6 billion although international operating profit fell 6.2% at £51.1 million due to continuing pressures in the Republic of Ireland and an acceleration in the retailer’s store opening programme across its key markets. M&S opened 26 international stores in the six month period with over 50 to follow in the second half.

Commenting on the results, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: "Marks & Spencer made progress with a strong performance in Food, International and M& Our key priority was the re-launch of Womenswear. In September we launched our first new collection with new advertising and improved store formats. Although only in store for three weeks of the half year, our Autumn/Winter collection has been well received by customers, and we have seen some early signs of improvement.

"At the same time we continued to invest in the long term transformation of the business. We are pleased with the progress made, given the high level of activity and a number of key projects launching this year. This has led to a higher level of additional costs, which while planned for, have impacted short-term results.”

Bolland added that that the retailer would move to a "lower, more sustainable” long-term investment level of £550 million from 2014/15.

Looking ahead, Marks & Spencer said there was little evidence that any improvement in consumer confidence was leading to increased spending in the retail sector and, as a result, it would remain cautious about the outlook for the rest of the year. 

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News


Retail Human Resources Summit
Retail Human Resources Summit
Wednesday 3 October 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th HR Summit 2018, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1, 3rd October 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
14 November 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre
The Retail Design Summit 2018
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
6 February 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Summit
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
20 September 2018
6th Floor 1, St. Martin's Le Grand London, EC1A 4AS
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing