LONDON May 24 Britain's Marks & Spencer
reported a 10 percent decline in annual profit and said clothing
and homeware sales fell in its latest quarter, dampening the
euphoria of the previous three months when it recorded a first
increase in nearly two years.
The firm also said on Wednesday that the trading environment
M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, made a
pretax profit before one off items of 613.8 million pounds
($796 million) in the year to April 1. That was ahead of
analysts' average forecast of 593 million pounds but down from
690 million pounds made in 2015-16. The outcome reflects lower
sales and higher costs.
Fourth quarter clothing and homeware like-for-like sales
fell 5.9 percent, worse than analysts' average forecast of a 3.3
percent decline. They had increased 2.3 percent in the previous
Like-for-like food sales fell 2.1 percent.
The fourth quarter sales figures were hit by a later Easter
falling outside the quarter and by the key days of the busy post
Christmas sale coming in the third, rather than the fourth,
($1 = 0.7711 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)