Strong food sales has significantly contributed to M&S seeing a growth in profit in the last financi
Marks and Spencer Group has said that its transformation plan is ‘running at scale and pace’ with the publication of its half year report.
Jane Imrie

M&S performance “running at a pace and scale not seen before” with latest half year results

Marks and Spencer Group has said that its transformation plan is ‘running at scale and pace’ with the publication of its half year report.

The retail giant reported a 51.5 per cent increase in pre-tax profit in the 26 weeks ending September 28, with the company’s food business experiencing a like-for-like growth of 0.9 per cent.

Decreased sales of 5.5 per cent in the clothing and home business were offset by cost savings of £75m as well as store restructuring, which saw the closure of 17 stores in the six month period.

The results come just months after the brand announced it had acquired 50 per cent of online retailer Ocado, an acquisition which it feels will continue to strengthen its performance.

Steve Rowe, Marks and Spencer Group’s chief executive, commented: “Our transformation plan is now running at a pace and scale not seen before at Marks & Spencer. For the first time we are beginning to see the potential from the far reaching changes we are making.

“The food business is outperforming the market. Our deal to create a joint venture with Ocado is complete and plans to transition to the M&S range are on track.

“In clothing & home we are making up for lost time. We are still in the early stages, but we are clear on the issues we need to fix and, after a challenging first half, we are seeing a positive response to this season’s contemporary styling and better value product.”

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