M&S Food reports market-leading sales performance thanks to innovation and broader customer appeal

UK retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) has reported another strong financial year in which food sales delivered market-leading growth.

Publishing its full-year (52 weeks ended 30 March 2024) results today (22 May), M&S said it saw its profits-before-tax rise to £716.4m, from £453.3m in 2022/23.

M&S Food sales and operating profit also outperformed the prior year, at +13 per cent and £395.3m respectively.

The retailer attributed its food sales growth to strong innovation and broadening customer appeal.

M&S Food upgraded over 1,000 products and launched 1,300 new lines over the reporting period, it said. And the business also saw 40 per cent sales growth in its new ‘Dine-In’ range, launched as a restaurant-quality alternative.

The retailer added that the integration of its 2022 Gist acquisition from Storeshield Limited (the principal contract logistics provider to M&S Food) generated strong returns in Food.

Commenting on the results, M&S chief executive Stuart Machin said: “Two years into our plan to ‘reshape for growth’, we can see the beginnings of a new M&S. Food and Clothing & Home [businesses] grew volume and value share ahead of the market, and sales increased across stores and online.

”Both businesses have now delivered 12 consecutive quarters of sales growth. This trading momentum gives us wind in our sales and confidence that our plan is working. We are becoming more relevant to more people, more of the time.”

M&S said it is planning further investment in Food over the next few months in key product ranges, such as Cook and Dine-In, with a focus on driving volume growth further.

Other food growth plans include upgrading and innovating one-third of the M&S Food range each year, driving volume lines and development in health.

The retailer also intends to develop bigger ‘fresh market’ style stores in the renewal format, offering a broader range and improved customer experience, increasingly catering to family shoppers. In this way, it aims to increase the share of larger baskets by a quarter since 2019/20.