London: England clothes And food retailer Marks & Spencer on Wednesday forecast “modest” revenue growth in the new financial year after its 2022-23 profit beat expectations and said it would continue to pay a dividend with an interim payment in November.
For the year to April 2, M&S made a pre-tax and adjusted profit of £482 million ($608 million) – well ahead of analysts’ average forecast of £436 million. but down from the £523m made in 2021/22.
Profits fell in 2022/23 despite a 9.6 per cent increase in revenue to £11.9bn due to higher labor and energy costs as well as unhelpful currency fluctuations.
It was also dented by M&S’s departure from Russia, the previous year’s lack of government support for business rates and a portion of losses from its online grocery joint venture with Ocado.
M&S says food sales grew 8.7% on the year, while clothes and home sales rose 11.5%, with the trend toward older, wealthier customers helping it stay protected from the ongoing cost of living crisis.
It said it was off to a good start to 2023/24, with sales of both food and clothing increasing.
M&S has not paid a dividend since 2019/2020 as part of a move to protect its balance sheet during the pandemic. (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Young Sarah)