Marks & Spencer raises profit forecast after strong sales

Retailer believes performance improvement a result of its turnaround programme

 Marks & Spencer’s clothing and home division, which has long struggled, recorded revenue up 92.2%  on last year

Marks & Spencer’s clothing and home division, which has long struggled, recorded revenue up 92.2% on last year

 

Marks & Spencer Group raised its profit forecast after strong sales of both food and clothing in stores since it reopened following months of lockdown at the beginning of the year.

The household British retailer said it expects profit to be above the upper end of previous guidance of £300 million to £350 million (€350 million to €408 million).

The bullish outlook comes after food revenue rose by nearly 11 per cent in the 19 weeks to August 14th, compared with the corresponding period last year. The strong sales in food were also up nearly 10 per cent on the same period in 2019 before the pandemic.

Similarly, the retailer’s clothing and home division, which has long struggled, recorded revenue up 92.2 per cent on last year, when shops were closed, and down just 2.6 per cent on 2019 levels. International revenue is also up.

In a promising sign for the retailer, it said that while some of the uplift in sales was a result of pent-up demand, overall it believes the improvement in performance is a result of its turnaround programme.

A household name in Britain, M&S has been trying to restructure and improve its performance for at least a decade. Profitability has been falling for years, hurt by changes in the competitive UK market.

Various management teams have tried to turn the business around, with the current effort led by chief executive officer Steve Rowe. – Bloomberg