Marks & Spencer (M&S) has credited additional progress in its turnaround technique for a 75% surge in earnings, achieved regardless of £30m of discounting to lure meals customers amid the grocery store worth warfare.
The firm, which returned to the FTSE 100 in September after 4 years of relegation, mentioned it was to revive an interim dividend for the primary time in 4 years.
Profit earlier than tax and adjusting gadgets for the six months to the tip of September got here in at £360.2m – up from £205.5m in the identical interval final 12 months.
The efficiency was pushed largely by its meals division.
However, the retailer warned that the second half, which incorporates the core Christmas season, was unlikely to be as sturdy regardless of continued momentum thus far, aided by its festive ranges.
M&S blamed an unsure financial outlook and difficult comparative numbers.
Sales progress for its two principal divisions meals and clothes and residential – up by 14.7% and 5.7% respectively – marked continued progress for the corporate whereas its partnership with Ocado dragged, delivering a £23m loss.
News of the three way partnership in 2019 spooked traders and culminated within the share worth stoop that led to its drop to the mid-cap FTSE 250.
M&S mentioned on Wednesday that it was working to spice up its “reset” technique for the Ocado partnership, admitting it was within the “early stages of investment in value, service and increased M&S range”.
Its wider turnaround efforts have included the closure of underperforming shops and bolstering style ranges whereas, on the similar time, investing in its on-line gross sales providing.
Chief government Stuart Machin instructed traders: “Our strategy to reshape M&S for growth has delivered strong results in the first half.
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“We have maintained our relentless concentrate on trusted worth, giving our clients distinctive high quality product at the absolute best worth.
“In meals, we delivered over 500 high quality upgrades and invested over £30m in worth, reducing the worth of 200 merchandise and locking costs on 150 buyer favourites.
“Our lead on quality perception widened and value perception continued to improve.
“In clothes & house we backed traces with authority throughout core and seasonal product, sustaining our lead on high quality and worth notion and enhancing our type credentials.
“As a result, we’ve sold more product and served more customers across food and clothing & home, with both businesses outperforming the market.”
An interim dividend of 1p per share was proposed.