M&S profits soar in Bolland’s first year

M&S has reported a 13% increase in profit in its first full year trading update under CEO Mark Bolland.

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During the period, the retailer increased its marketing spend by 16.3% to £142.9m for the year to 2 April, up from £122.9m last year and increased the number of advertising campaigns it ran for its food and clothing business.

Pre tax profit increased 12.9% to £714.3m, while group revenue increased 4.2% to £9.7bn.

UK revenue increased 4%. Its direct business reported a 31% increase in sales and visits to its website increased 18% to more than 3 million visits each week.

Its mobile commerce website has generated nearly 60,000 orders since launching last year.

M&S claims to have increased its market share in both general merchandise and food.

Bolland says the chain has made “good early progress” in its strategy to grow M&S as an international, mutli-channel retailer, outlined in November.

He also updated on M&S’s strategy for the next two years and said the UK business was its priority and it would work to improve its stores, food, home and clothing divisions.

Lara Wade-Gery joins M&S on 4 July to lead its multi-channel business.

Bolland remains cautious about the outlook and expects the year ahead to be challenging but says M&S maintains its priority of delivering “exceptional value and unrivalled quality”.

M&S will publish an annual update on the progress of Plan A in June.

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