LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - 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 remained tough.
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 quarter.
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, quarter. ($1 = 0.7711 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)