British retailer Marks & Spencer reports a rise in profits

M&S’s pre-tax profits rose to £118.3m, CFO to leave

British retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a rise in profits where pre-tax profits soared 371.3 per cent to £118.3m in the six months to September 30, which is four times its result for the same period last year.

However, the underlying profits of M&S have declined 5.3 per cent to £231.3m. According to the retail group, the “hard-pressed” consumers were more aware of value and were being “careful about premium choices”.

According to media, shares in the company rose 3.5 per cent this morning.

The group has also revealed that its chief financial officer Helen Weir, who left John Lewis to take up the role in 2015, would depart as she wants to pursue “a plural career”.

Chief executive Steve Rowe had said last year that the retailer would open 200 Simply Food shops over the next five years. However, the group announced today that they will be opening fewer Simply Food shops after same store foods sales fell in the first six months of its financial year.

Rowe said: “We have made good progress in remedying the immediate and burning issues at M&S I outlined last year. In clothing and home, early results are encouraging, and in International we now have a profitable and robust business.”

“We recognise now that we face stronger headwinds in food, which will be addressed in the year ahead.” Rowe added.

Like-for-like sales of food fell 0.1 per cent. Sales in clothing and home fell 0.7 per cent for the full period, but the decline slowed in the second quarter to 0.1 per cent.

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