LONDON — Profits at Marks & Spencer plc rose 14.5 percent in the 52 weeks to April 2 to 598.6 million pounds, or $981.7 million, from 523 million pounds, or $857.7 million. In a statement, the company called it a “good year” for trading in all product categories.
Higher financial income due to items such as pension credits, as well as to improved operating margins, underscored the profit increase.
However, the retailer warned about rising commodity prices and cited pressure on U.K. consumers’ disposable income from higher taxes and the government’s austerity measures.
“While the short-term economic outlook remains challenging, we are confident in the long-term growth prospects of the business. In a climate of economic uncertainty, our priority remains to deliver exceptional value and unrivaled quality for our customers,” the company stated.
Sales in the period rose 2.1 percent to 9.74 billion pounds, or $15.97 billion, from 9.54 billion pounds, or $15.65 billion, with increases across all product categories including clothing and food. Dollar figures have been converted from pounds at average exchange rates for the period.
M&S noted that the 2010-11 financial year was 52 weeks long, compared with the previous year’s 53 weeks. On a 53-week comparison basis, sales would have risen 4.2 percent in the 2011-11 fiscal year.