M&S: 'We have performed well in a challenging environment'

Marks and Spencer Chief Executive said the retail giant had performed well in the tough economic conditions of the last year.

Marks & Spencer performed well in a challenging economic environment, growing group sales by 2% and holding market share. [...]

We managed the business prudently with tight control of costs and capital investment, delivering earnings in line with last year, and substantial efficiency savings in our capital investment plans.

He outlined plans for further expansion internationally, and online.

Whilst the economic environment has deteriorated since we first set out our strategic plans, we have made significant progress.

Our UK pilot stores are delivering good results, which has given us the confidence to launch phase two of the programme.[...]By the end of this year we will be transacting from 10 websites worldwide and opening around 100 international stores per year.

– Marks and Spencer Chief Executive Marc Bolland

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M&S profits fall by 1%

Marks and Spencer has reported a 1% fall in annual profits to £705.9 million for the year to March 31 - its first drop in three years.