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-By Ankita Dutta.

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has reported higher sales and headline profits in its full-year results, indicating the strength of its turnaround. Group statutory revenue increased by 9.6% to £11.93bn, with group sales rising 9.9% to £11.98bn. The UK Clothing & Home sales rose by 11.5%, nabbing £3.71bn, and international sales were up 12.6% at just over £1bn.

The Clothing & Home performance was particularly strong, with a rise of 11.2% like-for-like sales. M&S expects the momentum to continue in this area and aims for a 1% increase in market share and an adjusted operating margin of about 10% over the next five years.

Operating profit before adjusting items fell by 11.6% to £626.6m, due to higher energy prices, labour costs, and the company’s share of losses from its Ocado joint venture weighing on the figures. It was also difficult to compare this year’s figures with the year before, as the latter had benefited from £60m in UK business rate relief. However, both store and online sales increased, increasing volume and value market shares, and the company saw 20% growth in click & collect.

M&S aims to continue expanding its online presence and improve market share in Kidswear and Home through third-party brand sales. The company now trades with over 140 partners and total sales of Clothing, Beauty, and Home brands increased 67% to £158m. In addition, pre-tax/pre-adjusting items profit fell by 7.8% to £482m, netting the company £364.5m in net sales, an increase of 18%.

Looking ahead, the company expects Food and Clothing & Home to maintain strong sales growth, despite tough market conditions. Women’s denim sales have been a particular success story for M&S, with the company cementing its leading market share in the category of 13%, up from less than 10% two years ago. It also invested in categories that drive style perception, which helped casual dress sales grow by 40% in 2022/23. Men’s Autograph sales rose by 60%; chino sales were up 25%. Moreover, comfortable, casual wear experienced a high demand post-pandemic, with sales increasing by a
significant margin.

It said its international sales were driven by demand for clothing from global partners; as a result, profits rose despite the combined impacts of the exit from Russia and ongoing EU border-related costs. Thus, positive results presented leverage for sales growth offsetting cost pressure, making M&S a confident company with a modern, mainstream approach to satisfy diverse customers while keeping costs at bay.