• FY profit up 4.6% to GBP632.5m
  • Group sales up 3.2% to GBP9.3bn
  • New CEO to outline plans in November

Retailer Marks & Spencer today (25 May) posted a 4.6% rise in adjusted full-year pre-tax profits to GBP632.5m (US$905.9m), but said it remained cautious about the year ahead.

Meanwhile, the UK company said new chief executive Marc Bolland, who is replacing current chairman Sir Stuart Rose, would announce his plans for the company in November.

Sales in the year to 3 April rose 3.2% to GBP9.3bn, with like-for-likes up 0.9% and general merchandise like-for-likes increasing 1.6%.

General merchandise revenues, which include clothing sales, were up 4% in the year, maintaining the company’s position as the UK’s leading clothing retailer by value and volume.

M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose hailed a “good year” which had demonstrated the “resilience” of the company.

“We took action to guide M&S through the recession without losing sight of what matters most to our customers – quality and value,” he said.

“In clothing, we grew market share in all areas and catered for customers looking for both great value wardrobe staples and quality investment pieces.

“With the worst effects of the recession behind us, strong foundations in place and our core values intact, I am confident that M&S is well set for growth under Marc’s direction.”

The company increased its market share in women’s wear, lingerie, men’s wear and children’s wear, while direct sales outperformed the online clothing market, rising 27% to GBP413m.

International sales were up 5.7% to GBP949m, accounting for more than 10% of group revenues, while operating profits rose 16.5% to GBP135.3m.

Sir Stuart described the start of the first quarter as “satisfactory”, but said the company remained cautious about the year ahead, with tax rises looming in the Budget of 22 June.

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