Retailer issues upbeat prediction for first-half results on the back of strong start

M&S has had a strong start to the year

M&S has had a strong start to the year

M&S has upgraded its profit guidance after double-digit sales growth in its food business.

The upmarket retailer reported that the first 19 weeks of the year have seen continued market share growth in both the Clothing & Home and Food businesses, with good progress on the programme to reshape M&S.

Like-for-like food sales grew over 11 per cent, with further investment in “quality and trusted value, sharpening prices on over 80 ‘Remarksable Value’ lines.” Clothing & Home sales grew over six per cent.

Overall group operating margin was described as robust, driven by strong store performance and enhanced by the store rotation and renewal programme.

“There remain considerable uncertainties about the economic outlook, and there is a risk that the consumer market will tighten as the year progresses,” the group cautioned. ”Nevertheless, 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.”

Interim results, for the 26 weeks ending 30 September, will be reported on 8 November.