The market in clothes is challenging, said CEO Mark Bolland, but he claimed that M&S had invested heavily over the last three years and group sales rose by nearly three percent to £10.3 billion for its last financial year, to the end of March.
Bolland said in a prepared statement: “We are focused on improving our performance in general merchandise and were pleased to see early signs of improvement. Our food business had a very strong year, consistently outperforming the market.” Clothing sales showed growth in the last quarter of its financial year.
He said M&S is making “solid progress” on its journey. In terms of gross margins, general merchandise fell to 50.7 percent, food gross marging was 32.5 percent while its total UK gross margin was 40.6 percent. UK operating costs rose by 3.5 percent compared to its previous financial year.