M&S half-year profits fall 8.9%

Marks & Spencer's half-year profits have fallen by 8.9%. It recorded a ninth consecutive quarter of sliding clothing and homeware sales. It comes on the same day rival Primark enjoyed half-year sales by 22% to £4.3 billion.

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Chief 'pleased with M&S progress' despite profits down

Marks & Spencer made progress with a strong performance in Food, International and M&S.com. Our key priority was the re-launch of Womenswear. In September we launched our first new collection with new advertising and improved store formats.

Although only in store for three weeks of the half year, our Autumn/Winter collection has been well received by customers, and we have seen some early signs of improvement.

At the same time we continued to invest in the long term transformation of the business. We are pleased with the progress made, given the high level of activity and a number of key projects launching this year.

This has led to a higher level of additional costs, which while planned for, have impacted short-term results.

– Marc Bolland, Marks and Spencer chief executive

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