Retail

Marks & Spencer Reports 58% Rise In Profits In Annual Results

By Reuters
Marks & Spencer Reports 58% Rise In Profits In Annual Results

Marks & Spencer has reported a 58% increase in annual profits, ahead of market expectations, as it published results on Wednesday.

The company implemented a strategy to re-shape its business as it delivered strong sales growth in both its food and clothing divisions.

Shares in the 140-year-old group were up 8% in early trading as it reiterated its confidence in further progress over the coming year.

Following two decades of failed turnaround efforts, Marks & Spencer (M&S) is reaping the rewards of an investment programme headed by chief executive Stuart Machin.

The programme saw to improve the quality and value of its clothing and food, upgrade its technology and e-commerce operations, modernise its supply chain and overhaul its store estate.

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'Wind In Our Sails'

M&S made profit before tax and adjusting items of £716.4 million in the year to 30 March.

This was ahead of analysts’ expectations, which ranged from £665 million to £705 million and the £453.3 million made in 2022/23.

Sales rose 9.4% to £13.1 billion, with food sales up 13% and clothing & home sales up 5.3%.

Machin said, “Both businesses have now delivered 12 consecutive quarters of sales growth and this trading momentum gives us wind in our sails, and confidence that our plan is working.”

M&S is targeting a 1% increase in market share in both clothing & home and food divisions across five years to 2027/2028.

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It is aiming for adjusted operating margins of more than 10% in clothing & home and over 4% in food.

The company achieved its margin targets in the 2023-24 year, with 4.8% in food and 10.3% in clothing & home.

Recent industry data showed that M&S was Britain’s third-fastest growing grocer after online grocer Ocado and discounter Lidl.

M&S said, “Given our track record of delivering volume growth, market share and free cash flow, we are confident that we will make further progress in 2024/25 and beyond.”

Read More: Marks & Spencer UK Apologises After Website And App ‘Technical Issue’

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