Retailer update

M&S turnaround takes market by surprise

Percy Pig has been a big seller

Shares in Marks & Spencer closed 16.5% higher yesterday, pushing the retailer to the top of the FTSE 250 index after it raised its annual profit outlook for the second time in less than three months.

The company reported gains in market share during the first half and forecast a 40% in adjusted profit this year to about £500m.

Investors piled into the stock, pushing the price 32p higher to 226.5p, representing a 60% uplift his year.

The turnaround has seen profit before tax and adjusting items for the half-year rise to £269.4m compared to a £17.4m loss last time. The figures include £47.5m of UK business rates relief, and a net rates charge of £50.3m in the period.

M&S reported consistently strong growth in food sales of 10.4% and an improving margin mix which helped to deliver an increase in operating profit before adjusting items compared to 2019/20.

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