Clothing and home sales at Marks & Spencer were flat year for the first half, as chief finance officer Helen Weir announces she is to leave the retailer.
Like-for-like sales in clothing and home slipped 0.7% for the 26 weeks to 30 September compared with the same period in 2016.
Group revenue was up 2.6% to £5.1bn while profit before tax and adjusted items fell 5.3% to £219.1m.
Online sales were up 6% to £5.7m for the six months.
Weir, who took on the CFO role in 2015, is to exit the business but will remain until a suitable successor is appointed.
Full-price sales in clothing and home were up 5.3% year on year as the retailer said it had “better product at lower prices, fewer promotions and two fewer Sales”. Gross margin for fashion was up 140 basis points as the business leveraged its sourcing to offset currency headwinds.
UK costs were up 4.2% as a result of adding new space, investing in existing stores and “tackling legacy pay and pension issues”.
International profits trebled to £60.3m following the retailer’s decision to close 53 stores and exit certain markets.
During the half M&S “simplified” its head office structure with a reduction of over 500 roles.
Steve Rowe, chief executive 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.
“The business still has many structural issues to tackle as we embark on the next five years of our transformation, in the context of a very challenging retail and consumer environment. Today we are accelerating our plans to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth, making M&S special again.”