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Marks & Spencer First-Half Profits Fall

(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Leading U.K. retailer Marks and Spencer Group PLC reported that profits fell 4.5 percent to £242.8 million, or approximately $393.3 million, in the first half of fiscal year 2011/2012 — down from £254.4 million, or $412.1 million, last year.

Revenues for the first six months rose 2.4 percent to £4.68 billion, or approximately $7.58 billion, from £4.57 billion, or $7.4 billion, in the comparable period last year. M&S Direct sales rose 11.7 percent, while international sales grew 9 percent.

"Sales were ahead of last year despite tough comparatives and a challenging economic environment," stated C.E.O. Marc Bolland. "We managed costs tightly and took a decision to invest in giving our customers better value, choosing not to pass on the full extent of the increases in commodity prices."

The company stated that sales of general merchandise — including apparel and accessories — fell 0.8 percent, while sales of food grew 3.9 percent, due to 900 new food product launched encompassing over 100 international food brands. The first half of fiscal 2011/2012 also saw the relaunch of the M&S brand, the opening of 12 international stores and the launch of a French e-commerce site. The second half of the fiscal year will see the debut of exclusive menswear collaborations as well as the opening of a Paris flagship, five stores in India and four locations in Shanghai.

Marks & Spencer currently operates 369 locations in 42 countries.

more Financial and General Interest News >>

Published 11-09-2011 by Katherine Rautenberg

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