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Marks & Spencer ‘confident’ of profit outlook following strong Christmas sales

By Huw Hughes



Image: Marks & Spencer, Facebook

Marks & Spencer says it is “more confident” of meeting its full-year profit guidance after reporting “strong” sales during the important Christmas period.

In the 13 weeks to January 1, the British retail giant reported group sales of 3.27 billion pounds, an 18.5 percent increase on last year and an 8.6 percent increase on two years ago, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.

CEO Steve Rowe said the “strong” trading over the Christmas period demonstrated the “continued improvements we’ve made to product and value”.

Strong clothing sales

The retailer’s clothing and home department posted revenue of 1.08 billion pounds, up 37.7 percent compared to last year and up 3.2 percent compared to two years ago.

Rowe said: “Clothing and home has delivered growth for the second successive quarter, supported by robust online and full-price sales growth.”

Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer’s largest department, food, reported revenue of 1.92 billion pounds, an increase of 10 percent on last year and 12.4 percent on the year before.

Due to the strong performance, Marks & Spencer said it is now “more confident” it can deliver the increased guidance it set in November of full-year profit before tax of at least 500 million pounds.

Rowe warned that the market “continues to be impacted by the headwinds and tailwinds that we reported in the first half”, but said he “remains encouraged” that the company’s transformation plan “is now driving improved performance”.

Marks & Spencer