M&S records 33% profit rise

Marks & Spencer’s “Your M&S” advertising campaign helped the high street retailer to add 33% – more than 100m – to its pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of September 2006.

M%26SMarks & Spencer’s "Your M&S" advertising campaign helped the high street retailer to add 33% – more than £100m – to its pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of September 2006.

It reported pre-tax profits were up from £305.7m a year ago to £406.5m this time around, on sales up by 11% to £3.6bn. Sales in the UK rose by 10.5%.

M&S chief executive Stuart Rose says that trading for the first five weeks of the second half was "in line with the first half run rate, despite tougher comparatives".

Rose adds the company is continuing to invest in new store openings and new store formats, the recruitment of specialist staff, improved sourcing and e-commerce. M&S will be relaunching its website, which is run in partnership with online retail giant Amazon, in the New Year.

Rose also says that the decision by previous management to scale back the retailer’s international operations was a mistake. Sales for the division rose by 17.7%.

Rose adds that the Simply Food format continues to grow both in high street locations and also through its partnership with BP, which Rose believes could see as many as 200 food outlets linked with BP petrol stations.

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