Marks & Spencer "confident" in delivering over £500m in pre-tax profits
Marks & Spencer has said it is "confident" in its ability to deliver pre-tax profits of at least £500 million this financial year, with transformation plans driving growth across all divisions.
The British retailer reported that group sales in the 13 weeks to January 1 rose 18.5% to £3.27 billion when compared with the same period in the prior year, and up 8.6% over the same period two years ago.
Clothing and home sales increased by 37.7% compared to the same period last year and up 3.2% compared to two years ago. Online sales continued to be strong, with growth of 50.8% supported by a substantial expansion of in-store fulfilment.
Store sales were down 10.8% on 2019/20 results, with retail parks continuing to outperform stores in city centres.
The company generated its highest ever Christmas sales with December growth in line with the performance for the quarter, and now expects full year pre-tax profits of at least £500 million.
Steve Rowe, Marks and Spencer Group's Chief Executive, said: "Trading over the Christmas period has been strong, demonstrating the continued improvements we’ve made to product and value. Clothing and Home has delivered growth for the second successive quarter, supported by robust online and full price sales growth.
"Food has maintained its momentum, outperforming the market over both 12 and 24 months. The market continues to be impacted by the headwinds and tailwinds that we reported in the first half, but I remain encouraged that our transformation plan is now driving improved performance."
The company added that full year results for the 52 weeks ending 2 April 2022 will be reported on 25 May, with the results presented against the 52-week period in 2019/20, as well as the comparable 52-week period in 2020/21.