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M&S returns to profitability in H1

During the period, the group saw pre-tax profits rise to £187.3m compared with losses of £87.6m the previous year

M&S has announced it has returned to profitability for the first half of the year ending 2 October 2021.

During the period, the group saw pre-tax profits rise to £187.3m compared with losses of £87.6m the previous year.

Statutory revenues also increased to £5.1bn from £4.09bn in 2020 and were boosted by the bounce back in spending and the benefits of the reshaping of M&S Food which saw a 10.4% increase in sales.

Meanwhile, the clothing and home business delivered 17.3% growth in full price sales which helped drive a healthy improvement in operating profit before adjusting items.

The group stated it expects profit before tax and adjusting items for the year to be ahead of expectations and to reach £500m.

Steve Rowe, chief executive, said: “Given the history of M&S we’ve been clear that we won’t overclaim our progress. Unpacking the numbers isn’t a linear exercise and we’ve called out the Covid bounce back tailwinds, as well as the headwinds from the pandemic, supply chain and Brexit, some of which will continue into next year.

“But, thanks to the hard work of our colleagues, it is clear that underlying performance is improving, with our main businesses making important gains in market share and customer perception.”

He added: “The hard yards of driving long term change are beginning to be borne out in our performance.”

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