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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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Primark hails 'outstanding year' after profits jump 44%

Primark hailed its "outstanding year" today after revealing annual profits had jumped by 44% to £514 million - contrasting the fortunes of high street rival Marks and Spencer.

Primark hailed its "outstanding year". Credit: Lewis Stickley/PA Wire

The retailer grew sales by 22% to £4.3 billion in the year to September 30 and the Associated British Foods, which owns Primark as well as leading food brands Twinings and Kingsmill, said it expected another improvement in performance in the current financial year.

The company paid tribute to Primark's buying teams after autumn/winter and spring/summer ranges sold out with little discount, while M&S struggled to kickstart its clothing sales.

Primark has expanded in the UK's major cities with the opening of a second store on London's Oxford Street and extensions to shops in Newcastle and Manchester.

They are also set to open their first store in France, which will be located in Marseille.

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