Clothes and homewares drive M&S profits down 14pc

Suzie Neuwirth

BRITISH retailer Marks & Spencer today announced a 14 per cent decline in profits for the year, with a struggling clothes and homewares division negating growth in food.

The company posted pre-tax profits of £564.3m for the year ended 30 March 2013, compared to £658m the previous year – its second year-on-year decline.

Total revenues from the UK food operations grew 3.9 per cent, while clothing fell 2.4 per cent.

Group sales rose 1.3 per cent to £10bn over the year.

“In a challenging market, M&S sales grew by 1.3 per cent. Three of the four parts of the business made strong progress,” said chief executive Marc Bolland.

“We are working hard to get the General Merchandise performance back on track. We have already made progress in our operational execution, and our new Autumn/Winter ranges have received a positive reaction.

“We are very pleased with Food performance which benefitted from our continued focus on delivering innovation, and unrivalled quality and provenance. Our International operations performed well in key markets and our Multi-channel business delivered strong growth.”