MARKS & Spencer yesterday reported a rise in profits as new chief executive Marc Bolland prepared to take over the reins at the high street giant.
The figures were the last to be presented by outgoing chief Sir Stuart Rose, who said the handover was going “smoothly”.
M&S recorded a pre-tax profit of £632m for the year to the end of March. The figure represented a 4.6 per cent rise on the year before.
M&S saw a UK sales lift of 0.9 per cent over the year after a better than expected 5.1 per cent rise in same store sales during the final quarter.
Rose said the results were “satisfactory” and showed the economy was going in the right direction but that “the recession is not over” for high street retailers.
However he said: “I think we are over the worst”.
He added on the M&S strategy: “We have to keep our heads down and keep delivering.”
Rose said that the handover to new chief executive Marc Bolland was moing forward and that at some stage he would “disappear” to allow his successor to sit in the hotseat.
M&S staff will share an £81m bonus pot after the company achieved its annual financial targets.
The payout is the second biggest in the company’s history.
Meanwhile former Morrisons boss Bolland is expected to announce the results of a strategic review with interim results in November.