Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Profits rise at Marks & Spencer but fashion sales fall

Marks & Spencer has reported a 6.1% increase in underlying profit before tax to £661.2m for the year to March 31, but clothing and general merchandise like-for-like sales fell 3.1%.

Group sales rose 0.4% to £10.3bn, but online dropped 2%.

Gross margin improved by 190 basis points thanks to “significant sourcing gains”, and is expected to increase by a further 150 to 200 basis points in the next 12 months.

Total general merchandise sales were down 2.5%. The retailer said its fashion sales - which it did not separate out from the rest of general merchandise - did not meet expectations and blamed “the third warmest autumn on record”, given its high market share in winter categories such as knitwear and coats.

It comes after M&S reported a 1.2% increase in fashion sales for the 13 weeks to March 28, breaking a cycle of 14 consecutive quarters in decline. The improvement, which saw like-for-like fashion sales edging up by 0.6%, was credited to better “product quality and styling”.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “In general merchandise we significantly increased the gross margin, and, while sales performance was below our expectations, we returned to growth in the fourth quarter. We continued to control costs and capital expenditure tightly, resulting in significantly improved free cash flow.

“We are transforming M&S into a stronger, more agile business – putting the right infrastructure, capabilities and talent in place to drive our strategic priorities.”


Readers' comments (1)

  • By the time it is stronger and more agile, the more agile will be stronger!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.