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M&S profits rise 4.6 per cent

Marks and Spencer reported, at todays preliminary results, that recent trading has been 'satisfactory' as company remains cautious for the year ahead.


M&S profits rise 4.6 per cent

Marks and Spencer reported, at todays preliminary results, that recent trading has been 'satisfactory' as company remains cautious for the year ahead.

M&S reported slightly better profit than expected at £632.5m the year ended 3 April preliminary results. The figures were an improvement on last year’s £604.4m slightly ahead of the range of £620m to £630m that M&S had previously indicated.

Sales, in the period were also up to £9.35bn from £9.06bn last year and better than the expected £9.29bn. Sales of general merchandise including clothes, increased 1.6% while food sales were up 0.3%.

M&S also reported that its overseas operations also performed well, though Ireland and Greece were impacted by the challenging economic conditions applying to the countries.

Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman, said: "Marks & Spencer has had a good year. We have improved performance in all core areas, demonstrating the resilience of the M&S brand. We took action to guide M&S through the recession without losing sight of what matters most to our customers - quality and value.

"In Clothing, we grew market share in all areas and catered for customers looking for both great value wardrobe staples and quality investment pieces. In Food, we returned to positive like-for-like growth for the first time in two years as we improved our value and innovation while maintaining our unrivalled quality.

"I am delighted that Marc Bolland has now joined us as CEO. I look forward to working with him to ensure a smooth transition, and with the Board to identify a new Chairman.

"With the worst effects of the recession behind us, strong foundations in place, and our core values intact, I am confident that M&S is well set for growth under Marc's direction.

"We have had a satisfactory start to the first quarter. Consumers are naturally concerned about any impact of the Budget on 22 June. We therefore remain cautious about the outlook for the year ahead."

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