Marks & Spencer profits fall 9.7%
High-end supermarket suffers because of wet weather
MARKS & SPENCER has reported pre-tax profits of £290m for the six months to September – a fall of 9.7% compared to the same period last year, the BBC reports. Like-for-like food sales were up 1.1% while clothing and homeware were down 4.3%. The performance of food helped boost group sales by 0.9% to £4.7bn. Analysts had been expecting profits to fall by 11% to £280m. M&S said sales were hit by bad weather, weak consumer confidence and pressure on customers' disposable incomes. The supermarket did not enjoy a sales boost from the Diamond Jubilee or Olympics.