LONDON – Marks & Spencer plc saw net profits rise 24.4 percent for the year ended March 29, to 821 million pounds, or $1.64 billion, from 659.9 million pounds, or $1.32 billion.
Much of the upswing was attributable to one-off gains from property disposals, which generated 27 million pounds, or $53 million, and an exceptional pension credit, which added 95 million pounds, or $186 million, to net profits.
Profits before taxes and exceptional items rose 4.3 percent for the year to 1.01 billion pounds, or $2 billion, marking the first time the retailer has delivered profits of over 1 billion pounds before taxes since the year ended in 1998.
Full-year sales grew 5.1 percent to 9.02 billion pounds, or $18.1 billion. All figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the period.
“Despite tougher economic conditions in the second half, M&S has had a good year,” stated Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, adding that since the company didn’t meet the internal targets set in April 2007, it did not pay its management team a bonus. The company paid a 12.8 million pound, or $25 million bonus, to staff in its M&S stores.
“We expect market conditions to remain difficult for the foreseeable future and are managing our business accordingly,” added Rose. “M&S is well positioned to compete in this challenging market…. Brand momentum continues to strengthen and we have made significant investment to improve the quality of our trading space.”
For complete coverage, see Wednesday’s issue of WWD.