Marks & Spencer shares climb as profits pick up

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Marks & Spencer shares climb as profits pick up
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The share price of supermarket chain Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS) has increased by 4.07% to 189.77p (as of 11:45 GMT) as it reported a 51.5% improvement in pre-tax profits for the half year ended 28th September. This came despite a 2.1% drop in revenues as the clothing and home departments continued to struggle.

CEO Steve Rowe commented: “Our transformation plan is now running at a pace and scale not seen before at Marks & Spencer. For the first time we are beginning to see the potential from the far reaching changes we are making. The Food business is outperforming the market. Our deal to create a joint venture with Ocado is complete and plans to transition to the M&S range are on track.

“In Clothing & Home we are making up for lost time. We are still in the early stages, but we are clear on the issues we need to fix and, after a challenging first half, we are seeing a positive response to this season’s contemporary styling and better value product. We have taken decisive action to trade the ranges with improved availability and shorter clearance periods. In some instances dramatic sales uplifts in categories where we have restored value, style and availability illustrate the latent potential and enduring broad appeal of our brand. Our cost reduction and store technology programmes are on track“.

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