Alongside its results for the H1 ended 30th September 2023, Marks and Spencer Group states that its strategy to reshape M&S is delivering strong results.
H1 saw the retailer achieve profit before tax and adjusting items of £360.2m (up from £205.5m in 2022/23), and statutory profit before tax of £325.6m (£208.5m in 2022/23).
Clothing & Home sales were up +5.7% (online sales grew by +4.6%).
CEO Stuart Machin comments: “Our strategy to reshape M&S for growth has delivered strong results in the first half. We have maintained our relentless focus on trusted value, giving our customers exceptional quality product at the best possible price.
"In Food, we delivered over 500 quality upgrades and invested over £30m in price, lowering the price of 200 products and locking prices on 150 customer favourites. Our lead on quality perception widened and value perception continued to improve. In Clothing & Home we backed lines with authority across core and seasonal product, maintaining our lead on quality and value perception and improving our style credentials. As a result, we’ve sold more product and served more customers across Food and Clothing & Home, with both businesses outperforming the market.
"Sales growth was supported by our investment in store rotation, which continued at pace. Three full-line stores opened and six were renewed, all attracting new customers and performing ahead of plan. Our cost reduction programme is on track, with over £100m savings delivered in the half and investment in supply chain modernisation driving efficiencies, translating volume growth to improved margin and profitability.
"I am clear that if we serve our customers well, we serve our shareholders well, and our unrelenting focus on trusted value is matched by disciplined capital allocation. We have further strengthened our balance sheet and net debt position, with an interim dividend payment being made to shareholders for the first time in four years.
"Looking ahead, trading momentum has been maintained through October, with customers responding positively to our Christmas ranges. There will be challenges and headwinds in the year ahead and progress won’t be linear, but we are ambitious for future growth and are driving what is in our control.
"In summary – we’re only just beginning. Lots done, lots to do, lots of opportunity.”