Profits rocket for Marks and Spencer

22-05-2007

Profits rocket for Marks and Spencer
Retail giant Marks and Spencer has announced its yearly pre-tax profits have rocketed by 28.5 per cent as sales increase.

The high-street retailer, which has drastically re-branded itself in the past ten years to boost its once-flagging customer base, revealed today that its sales were up by 10.1 per cent with profits just short of the elusive £1 billion mark at £965.2 million in the past financial year.

It is thought that the chain, which opened 63 Simply Food stores last year and plans to open a further 100 new stores in the next 12 months, will hit the £1 billion milestone later this year.

The past decade has seen one of the most celebrated turnarounds in British retail after slipping profits put the company into crisis just years after it became the first UK retailer to make a profit before tax of over £1 billion in 1998.

"Our plan remains the same - to drive further growth from our core business through the delivery of better product, service and environment," said chief executive Stuart Rose.

"We are also starting to broaden the business, by stretching the brand into new product areas, expanding space, driving our direct business and growing our brand internationally."

The expansion will also create up to 10,000 new jobs in the UK over the next three years. However current staff will also be rewarded this year with a record bonus of £91 million, including a £26 million reward for our store customer assistants.

Marks and Spencer also announced the appointment of Martha Lane Fox, one of the co-founders of online success lastminute.com in 1998, as a non-executive director.

"Martha brings a wealth of experience, particularly in the online arena," added Mr Rose.



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