Home business M&S hails momentum in turnaround strategy as sales jump

M&S hails momentum in turnaround strategy as sales jump

M&S hails momentum in turnaround strategy as sales jump

Marks & Spencer has revealed a jump in sales in the face of pressure on customer finances but saw profits dip over the past year on the back of higher costs.

The high-street chain said sales grew in both its clothing and homeware, and food divisions over the year to April.

Bosses at M&S hailed the performance as evidence of progress from the retailer’s turnaround plan, which has seen it shut dozens of its larger stores amid an overhaul of its store portfolio.

Total revenues for the business grew by 9.6 per cent to £11.9 billion (€13.7 billion), compared with the previous year.

Clothing and home sales lifted by 11.5 per cent to £3.72 billion, after a significant rise in store sales, with shoppers flocking back to the high street after the impact of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, sales in its food operation grew by 8.7 per cent to £7.22 billion, against the year prior.

M&S also told shareholders it has witnessed a “good start” to the new financial year, despite an “uncertain” outlook for consumer spending.

Nevertheless, the London-listed company posted a profit before tax and adjusting items of £482 million for the year, down from £522.9 million last year.

The retailer said the figure, which was above analyst predictions, was partly lower due to the loss of pandemic-era business rates relief from the government.

It also highlighted continued cost inflation for both clothing and food divisions.

The company said it also expects to face over £50 million of energy cost rises and over £100 million in staff pay increases over the coming year, but stressed plans to offset this by its cost-cutting plan designed to secure a further £150 million a year.

Stuart Machin, chief executive of M&S, said: “One year in, our strategy to reshape M&S for growth has driven sustained trading momentum, with both businesses continuing to grow sales and market share.

“Our Food and Clothing & Home businesses invested in value to protect customers from the full force of inflation which, whilst impacting margin, was the right thing to do, as serving our customers well is the only route to delivering for our shareholders.”