Resurgent high street giant Marks & Spencer continued its revival on Tuesday as it posted a huge jump in first half profit on the back of soaring lingerie sales and a shift to cheaper overseas suppliers.

The company said profit for the six month period surged nearly 30 per cent year-on-year to a better-than-expected £287 million excluding exceptional items, with turnover climbing 7.9 per cent to nearly £3.7 billion.

Chief executive Roger Holmes said that success came as it enjoyed double-digit sales growth across all areas of adult apparel with particularly strong performances in men's and women's casual wear.

Lingerie sales were also buoyant as it strengthened its position as market leader but added its children's wear division is continuing to under-perform while the search for a new children's wear chief continues after the recent departure of Michele Jobling.

Chairman Luc Vandevelde commented: "I am pleased with the performance over the half year, which shows we are continuing to deliver on our promises. We are now in a position where we have achieved four consecutive quarters of positive growth.

"Looking forward, we are now focused on gaining market share in the core areas, particularly clothing and food and on building the foundations for future growth.

"However, we recognise that we are aiming to achieve this in a market we expect to become less buoyant. At the same time, we are coming up against challenging year-on-year comparisons.

"As we go into the crucial Christmas period, we remain confident that we will continue to give our customers reasons to keep coming to us and buying more, by offering appealing products at great value within an improved store environment."