M&S chooses Sienna Miller as the symbol of a womenswear campaign (Sienna Miller for M&S)Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Marks & Spencer, the renowned high street giant, has witnessed a significant uplift in profits and sales, marking a promising turnaround. The company also reveals a favorable start to pre-orders for the upcoming Christmas season.
In its latest update to the City, following its return to the FTSE 100 after a four-year absence, the retailer issues a warning about remaining uncertainties. Factors like unpredictable weather patterns and higher interest rates may influence customer behavior, making the outlook somewhat uncertain.
However, Chief Executive Stuart Machin extensively emphasizes the “robust” performance for the six-month period up to September 30th.
Pre-tax profit amounts to £325.6 million, displaying a 56.2% surge from the preceding year and surpassing analysts’ expectations.
The rise in earnings is attributable to cost savings, notably efficiency enhancements in the supply chain, along with a 10.8% revenue upturn, totaling £6.1 billion.
Comparable food sales depict an 11.7% increase, while sales in clothing and home goods show a rise of 5.5%.
Partnering with Ocado, the company declares its successful launch of the Christmas food-to-order selection, with customers planning their purchases well in advance.
Machin remarks, “Looking ahead, trading momentum has carried into October, with customers reacting positively to our festive range. While challenges and headwinds may arise in the upcoming year and progress may not be linear, we harbor ambitious aspirations for future growth and remain committed to driving what is within our control.”
Machin, who assumed the position of CEO in May 2022, is ably supported by Katie Bickerstaff as the co-CEO. During the initial half of the year, their focus has been on investing in the company and attracting as well as retaining customers.
Noteworthy initiatives include a £23 million investment in M&S stores in London, price reductions for 200 food items in June, and enlisting actress Sienna Miller as the face of the autumn womenswear campaign.
Last year, M&S announced plans to shut down 67 “low productivity, full line stores” over the next five financial years while simultaneously launching 104 additional Simply Food sites during the same period.
During the pandemic, M&S suspended dividend payments to safeguard its financial position. However, it has now reinstated them, declaring a dividend of 1p per share.