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Marks & Spencer lifts profit forecast after "strong" sales

Sophie Smith
15 August 2023

Marks & Spencer has raised its profit outlook for the year as it reports continued market share growth.

Clothing and home sales increased over 6%, with "strong" in-store growth helping to offset "more subdued growth in online".

It added that it sold more products at full price, meaning less stock went into its latest sale than previously planned.

Food sales grew over 11% as the retailer made further investment into quality and value, sharpening prices on over 80 ‘Remarksable Value’ lines.

Marks & Spencer also revealed it was making good progress on its programme to reshape the business.

It said its half-year results for the six months to September, which are due to be released in November, are expected to be ahead of earlier forecasts.

In a statement, the retailer said: "There remain considerable uncertainties about the economic outlook, and there is a risk that the consumer market will tighten as the year progresses.

"Nevertheless, we now expect the outcome for the year to show profit growth on 2022-23, and the interim results to show a significant improvement against previous expectations."

Charlie Huggins, Manager of the Quality Shares Portfolio at Wealth Club, added: "Following on the heels from NEXT's recent profit upgrade, M&S has also announced that it expects profit for the year to be above expectations. This is evidence that the UK consumer is still spending, despite the gloomy economic headlines.

"The results are also testament to the group’s progress against its strategy, launched last year. This aims to improve brand perception and designs, reduce discounting, and improve the online offering, while taking a knife to costs and instilling a more entrepreneurial culture. Today’s trading update suggests this plan is resonating with consumers with M&S continuing to increase its market share in clothing and home.

"M&S cautions that there are still considerable uncertainties about the economic outlook. Nevertheless, there are more reasons for optimism now than there have been for some time."

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