M&S Soars as Strong Sales Drive Profit Forecast

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Investing.com – Marks and Spencer stock (LON:MKS) climbed 11% in Friday’s premarket trading as robust sales in its fiscal first quarter pushed the retailer to raise its forecast for annual profit.

Sales were so strong in the first quarter that the company brushed aside uncertainty about consumer demand and the possibility of pent-up demand inflating the numbers to revise its outlook.

The high-street fashion retailer now expects adjusted profit before tax for the year to be above the upper end of its previous guidance of £300 million-£350 million ($408 million-$476 million).

Tweaking the approach to trading, including more focused ranges, fewer promotions and a substantially smaller summer sale helped drive the retailer’s sales of its clothing and home product line. Revenue from the business grew 92% year-on-year in the 19 weeks to August 14. It is now down a mere 2.6% from the pre-pandemic period.

Online traffic drove sales as many high-street locations remained in slow recovery. The company added third-party clothing and footwear brands to its online portfolio and the company said they performed well.

Food revenue rose 11% and the company relied on cost reductions to mitigate inflation in prices and disruption in supply chain.

International revenue rose 40% as impetus on online helped mitigate the impact of lockdown in India and Brexit-related impact on the supply of food to its businesses in the Republic of Ireland and France.

Sales at the group level rose 29% during the 19 weeks.

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