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Strong first half for Marks and Spencer Group plc

Sales and profits up in half year results for the 26 weeks ended 2 October 2010

CITY & CORPORATE

Strong first half for Marks and Spencer Group plc

Sales and profits up in half year results for the 26 weeks ended 2 October 2010


Sales are up 5.4% at £4.56m with UK sales up 5.6%, international sales up 3.8%.

UK like-for-like sales are up 4.4% and adjusted operating profit up 12.1% to £409.2m (last year £365.0m).  Adjusted profit before tax up 16.9% to £348.6m (last year £298.3m).
Profit before tax £348.6m (last year £306.7m).

Looking forward, the company aims to deliver group revenues of between £11.5bn and £12.5bn by 2013/14. It also has high ambitions for multichannel operations and wants to become a leading UK multi-channel retailer with revenues of £800m to £1.0bn.


Commenting on the Half Year Results, Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said,"Marks & Spencer has had a strong first half. Profit before tax was up 17%, earnings per share up 21%, and the Board has approved a half year dividend of 6.2p per share, an increase of 12.7%. 
 
"In Clothing, we grew market share in all areas as we gave our customers better fashions, more choice and great value. In Food, more customers chose to shop with us recognising our quality, innovation, and improved values.  
Commenting on the update, Marc said:
"The business is in good shape and we have strong foundations on which to build through evolution not revolution.
 
"We will begin by focusing on the core UK business. For our customers this means that in Clothing we will improve our core M&S ranges, so that the unique quality, style and fashion of the M&S brand stand out.  We will also clarify the position of our sub-brands, moving them from labels to real brands.
 
"In Food, we will establish a clear market position as a specialist high-quality retailer, inspiring customers with our unrivalled quality and innovation.  Our focus will be on fresh, speciality and convenience, bringing the Best of British and Flavours of the World to our customers.
 
"Over the first three years we will also build our multi-channel and international capability.  This will develop M&S into an international multi-channel retailer, making the M&S brand more accessible to more customers around the world."

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