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Clothing and home sales grow at M&S

High street retailer Marks & Spencer has reported a growth in half year sales as its Clothing & Home division experiences an uptick of 14%.

According to its latest trading update for 26 weeks ended 1 October 2022, total group sales were up 8.5% to £5.5bn from £5.1bn against the same period last year. Pre-tax profit grew 11.3% to £208.5m from £187.3m.

M&S said Food sales rose 5.6%, while Clothing & Home sales were up 14% to £1.7bn with store sales up 18.8% and online up 4.9% against strong comparatives.

Current trading in the first four weeks of the second half is in line with forecasts, with Clothing & Home sales up 4.2%, Food sales up 3% and International up 4.1%.

Stuart Machin, Chief Executive said: “Trading in the first half has been robust with both businesses growing ahead of the market, reflecting the beginnings of a reshaped M&S. In Food, investment in trusted value has driven top-line growth but short-term profit has been reduced, although the acquisition of Gist gives us control of one of our biggest cost and efficiency levers. Clothing has delivered a stand-out performance from a market leading position in value with improving style credentials. The programme to renew and rotate our store estate is driving sales and quick paybacks, while the M&S App now accounts for over a third of online Clothing & Home sales. At Ocado Retail, the customer proposition is being re-energised under new leadership. Underpinning our business is an improved balance sheet with reduced debt and a strong cash position.

“This progress means we face into the current market headwinds with an increased resilience and level of confidence. Looking beyond the current stormy weather, much is in our control and our mandate is clear – to step up the pace, accelerate change, drive a simpler, leaner business and invest in growth opportunities to build a reshaped M&S.”

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