Retail giant M&S (MKS) reported a drop in annual profits this morning as its clothing division continues to struggle. Pre tax profit cam in 3.9 % lower than previously at £623m.
General Merchandise, the clothing arm reported a 1.4% drop in like for like sales, however there was more positive news for the other sections of the business. Food like for like sales growing 1.7%, and total UK sales growing 0.2%. International sales and multichannel sales were also strong performers.
The company dividend remains unchanged at 17p per share.
Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said:
“M&S grew sales by 2.7% last year. We are focused on improving our performance in General Merchandise and were pleased to see early signs of improvement. Our Food business had a very strong year, consistently outperforming the market.
“Three years ago, we recognised the scale of investment required to transform our business, investing to strengthen our foundations and improve our customer offer. We are making solid progress on this journey and are now focused on delivery.”
Robert Swannell, Chairman, said:
“The investment made in executing our strategy over the last three years puts M&S in a stronger position to compete in a retail world undergoing profound change. Our priorities now are to deliver on the investment we have made and to make M&S a more profitable, stronger and well-equipped business.
“In line with our dividend policy, the Board is recommending a final dividend of 10.8p per share, resulting in a full year dividend of 17.0p per share, level on last year.”