// Marks & Spencer full-year profits and sales surged, surpassing pre-Covid levels
// M&S’ outgoing boss Steve Rowe, who stands down today, said he was leaving M&S “a fundamentally changed” business.
M&S has delivered a “strong all-round performance” as both profits and sales rose in its last financial year as it decides to fully exit Russia.
Chief executive Steve Rowe, who stands down today, said he was leaving M&S “a fundamentally changed business” as he unveiled that that pre-tax profits before adjusting items hit £522.9million in the year to March 28, up from £403.1million two years ago, before the onset of Covid.
On a statutory level, profits after tax skyrocketed from £27.4million to £309 million.
Sales jumped 6.9% to £10.9billion over the year with both food and clothing revenue growing. Food sales surged 10.1%, or 14.7% excluding its hospitality and franchise business, whilst its clothing and home arm, which has long struggled at M&S, delivered a 3.8% uplift against pre-Covid levels.
Its clothing and home sales were bolstered by a 28.5% growth in full-price sales.
Meanwhile, M&S has decided to fully exit Russia at a cost of £31million. The retailer had ceased shipments to Russia at the beginning of March.
M&S’s businesses in Russia and Ukraine have been operated by a licence holder and franchise partner, and achieved sales of £102.5million and contributed £5.2million to the bottom line
The retailer said its Ukrainian business has also been partially closed as a result of the war but it was working to reopen it when possible.
CFO Eoin Tonge will also take on the role as chief strategy officer as part of the changes.
Rowe said: “When I took over the reins at M&S six years ago, I committed to tackling the underlying issues that had eroded the strength of the business and building the foundations for future growth.
“For me, what is important about these results is not just the restoration of profit and strong cash flow; it is that they demonstrate that M&S has fundamentally changed.
“While there is much more to do, the business has moved beyond proving its relevance and has the opportunity for substantial future growth.
“It has been my privilege to be the steward and shopkeeper of this fantastic business and extraordinary brand at such an important stage in its history. The changes we have delivered are down to the commitment and hard work of colleagues across the business, and I am delighted to hand the baton on to Stuart, Katie and Eoin to lead the next phase.”