M&S profits increase 13 per cent

Marks and Spencer

Business digest: High street stalwart enjoys boost, but shoppers find store layouts confusing

LAST UPDATED AT 10:56 ON Tue 24 May 2011

Marks & Spencer enjoyed a 12.9 per cent increase in profits over the last financial year, making a pre-tax total of £714m - just above City expectations. Revenues rose by 4.2 per cent in the same period to £9.7bn.

The overall figure masked a relatively weak performance in the UK: profits fell 3.3 per cent from the previous year, reaching a £678m profit total which was below estimates. Freddie George, an analyst at broker Seymour Pierce, put this down to "weaker gross margins in general merchandise".

M&S also revealed that customers had been struggling to find their way around some of their stores, saying: "Our customers have told us they find our stores difficult to shop. We are addressing this by segmenting our stores better, by creating a more inspiring in-store environment, and improving in-store navigation and packaging architecture."

Read a full report at the Guardian. · 

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