M&S has raised its profit outlook for the year after the high street stalwart was boosted by sales in its clothing and food arm.
The UK retailer reported a 11 per cent hike in sales across its food offering in the first 19 weeks of the year as the business pumped further investment into its grocery offering including cutting prices on its cheaper ‘Remarksable Value’ lines.
M&S also continued to reap the benefits of its newly revamped clothing and homeware line – which aims to appeal to a more modern and trendy customer base – with sales in this division rising six per cent.
In store shopping out performed online with M&S reporting “subdued” digital growth during the term.
While the business warned that there is a risk that the consumer market will “tighten” as the year progresses, it still expects profit growth ahead of full year results for last year.
“We now expect the outcome for the year to show profit growth on 2022-23, and the interim results to show a significant improvement against previous expectations,” M&S said.
It comes amid a successful year for M&S, with the group posting annual revenues of £11.93bn in May, up from £10.88bn the year before.
The retailers share price is also up 35 per cent over the last year.
This morning it roared over eight per cent as markets responded to the news.
“The results are testament to the group’s progress against its strategy, launched last year,” Charlie Huggins, manager of the Quality Shares Portfolio at Wealth Club, told City A.M.
“This aims to improve brand perception and designs, reduce discounting, and improve the online offering, while taking a knife to costs and instilling a more entrepreneurial culture.”
He added: “Today’s trading update suggests this plan is resonating with consumers with M&S continuing to increase its market share in clothing and footwear.”
“M&S cautions that there are still ‘considerable uncertainties about the economic outlook’. Nevertheless, there are more reasons for optimism now than there have been for some time.”