M&S tops £1bn profit barrier

THE resurgence of high street retailer Marks & Spencer continued yesterday as the company smashed the £1billion annual profit barrier for the first time in decade.

THE resurgence of high street retailer Marks & Spencer continued today as the company broke through the £1billion annual profit barrier for the first time in decade.

However, news of the 4.3% increase in profits to just over £1billion was tempered by a 1.7% fall in like-for-like sales during the final quarter of the year.

It was the second quarter running of lower sales on a like-for-like basis and M&S chief executive Sir Stuart Rose, who had led the company's recovery over the past four years, said today he expected trading conditions “to remain difficult for the foreseeable future.”

However, today's results still represent the company's figure best performance since 1997-98 and are ahead of market expectations of profits in the region of £989 million.


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Sir Stuart, who has a home in Suffolk near Woodbridge, added that trading since the end of March had been “mixed”, with sales suffering amid April's downpours but recovering with the onset of better weather earlier this month.

He also remained cautious over consumer sentiment, but the group still intends to spend up to £900 million on upgrading its stores this year.

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