British high street staple Marks & Spencer has lifted its profit guidance to around £350m for the year as its sales have begun to recover, inching towards its pre-pandemic recordings.
The upbeat trading update seemingly left investors with a fresh bout of confidence in the retail heavyweight, as M&S shares jumped by 11.14 per cent to 158.6p per share in its afternoon trading.
M&S’ food revenue has lifted 9.6 per cent in the 19 weeks to 14 August, in comparison with income seen in 2019.
However, reduced footfall has curbed its hospitality and franchise revenues from returning to pre-pandemic levels.
The group’s clothing and home division has also seen a good recovery, M&S said in a statement, with revenue soaring 92.2 per cent on last year and down just 2.6 per cent on 2019’s figures.
M&S said the change in its approach to trading, “including more focussed ranges, fewer promotions and a substantially smaller summer sale”, has resulted in an around nine per cent lift to full price sales in comparison with 2019/20.
Beyond Britain’s beloved high street’s, the retail heavyweight has performed well internationally with global revenue climbing 39.7 per cent on last year’s figures.
Though international revenue was down 5.2 per cent on pre-pandemic recordings, the group faced a number of headwinds such as India’s lockdown earlier in the financial year and “substantial Brexit related effects on the supply of food to our businesses in the Republic of Ireland and France.”
However, M&S’s global revenue had been buoyed by the company’s push into online sales, which are up around 40 per cent globally.
The retail giant added that “assuming no further Covid-related restrictions on trading, at this early stage we expect adjusted profit before tax for the year to be above the upper end of previous guidance of £300-350m.”