M&S raises profit guidance after strong start to the year

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Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LSE:MKS) (LSE:MKS) announced a strong start to the year and an upgrade in its profit outlook for 2021.


In a trading statement, the retailer said it now expects full-year adjusted profits to come in at the upper end of previous guidance of GBP300-GBP350mln, provided there are no further trading restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Commenting on trading so far this year, M&S said food revenue in the 19 weeks to 14 August had outperformed, increasing 10.8% on the same period last year and 9.6% on the previous year. However, hospitality and franchise remained below 2019/20 levels due to reduced footfall and the slow return to more normal work patterns.


“Overall trading has been ahead of the market. To date, cost reduction programmes are helping to mitigate cost inflation and disruption in the supply chain, and the cost of increased colleague absence in the period,” M&S said..


The retailer said it Clothing & Home division has seen a good recovery in its performance, with revenue up 92.2% on last year and down just 2.6% on 2019/20. It said the pivot to online has continued, resulting in a 19.8% fall in store sales compared with 2019/20. Meanwhile, online sales soared by 61.8% on 2019/20 and comprised 35% of total Clothing & Home sales. Guest brands are performing well, it added


International revenue grew by 39.7% on last year and was only 5.2% lower than 2019/20 despite the lockdown in India and Brexit-related effects on the supply of food to M&S businesses in the Republic of Ireland and France. The retailer said the push into global online remains promising with sales up around 40% on last year and more than doubling on 2019/20.

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