Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer on Wednesday forecast “modest” growth in revenue in its new financial year after 2022-23 profit beat expectations and said it would resume its dividend with an interim payout in November.
For the year to April 2, M&S made a profit before tax and adjusting items of £482 million – ahead of analysts’ average forecast of £436 million but down from the £523 million made in 2021-22.
Profit fell in 2022-23 despite an 9.6 per cent rise in revenue to £11.9 billion, due to higher energy and labour costs and unhelpful currency moves.
It was also dented by M&S’s exit from Russia, the lack of the prior year’s government support on business rates and a share of losses from its online grocery joint venture with Ocado.
M&S said food sales increased 8.7 per cent over the year, while clothing and home sales were up 11.5 per cent, with its bias towards older, more affluent customers giving it some protection from an ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
It said it had made a good start to the 2023-24 year, with both food and clothing growing sales.
M&S has not paid a dividend since its 2019-20 year as part of a move to protect its balance sheet during the pandemic.