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M&S raises profit forecast to £500m

The company generated its ‘highest ever’ Christmas sales with December growth reportedly in line with the performance for the quarter.

The Marks and Spencer Group (M&S) has raised its full year pre-tax profits forecast to £500m, following an 18.6% year-on-year rise in total UK sales for the 13 Weeks ending 1 January 2022.

The group’s clothing and home sales surged 37.7% and food sales increased by 10%, with sales excluding hospitality and franchise up 16.4%. 

According to M&S, full price sales grew by 45% and online sales experienced growth of 50.8%. However, store sales were down 10.8% on FY20 with retail parks up.

During the period, the group also strengthened its balance sheet and liquidity position; it signed a new £850m Revolving Credit Facility maturing in June 2025 and disposed of two warehouses for a total cash consideration of £42.5m.

Steve Rowe, M&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.”

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