UK: Marks & Spencer profits fall

Marks and Spencer (M&S) profits have fallen 9.7% to £290m in the six months to September 30.

Bucking the downward trend were food sales which were up 3.4%, with like-for-like sales up 1.1%. This was attributed to a focus on giving customers more choice through constant innovation, unveiling 1,000 new lines and launching the “Simply M&S” range.

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: “We are pleased to report a better performance across the business in the second quarter. We took steps to address the short term merchandising issues in General Merchandise and as a result, we delivered an improved performance. Food outperformed the market on a like-for-like basis.

“Eighteen months in, we are making strong progress with our plan to transform M&S into an International Multi-channel retailer. Our new International stores are performing well, and our Multi-channel business is delivering strong growth.

“As we approach the all important Christmas period, we have better than ever Christmas products, to help our customers enjoy a special Christmas at home.”

On-shelf availability was improved by a further 1%, in addition to the 2% delivered in the last full year, through the implementation of a new space, range and display system and investment in improvements to service standards for customers.


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