Marks & Spencer (M&S) shares are at their highest level in almost eighteen months after the company revised its profit targets upwards.
In a statement released last week M&S said that they were expecting annual adjusted profit before tax to exceed the upper end of previous guidance predicting £300-350m.
Share prices rallied in response to the news, jumping 14.3 per cent over the past seven days. Shares today topped GBX180.0, a price point last seen in February 2020.
The revised profit estimates came as M&S recorded unexpectedly strong sales.
Revenue from food sales was stronger than expected in the 19 weeks leading up to August 14, jumping 10.4 per cent compared to the same period a year ago and up 9.6 per cent from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Revenue from clothing jumped 92.2 per cent compared to 2020 and the retail heavyweight also performed well internationally with global revenue up 39.7 per cent on last year’s figures.
While the lifting of lockdown restrictions has given the company a substantial boost, share prices still down more than 50 per cent compared to a five year high of GBX369.47 recorded in May 2017.
The shift to online shopping during the pandemic has undermined sales and the high-street staple is in the process of expanding its e-commerce operations as it seeks to catch up.