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M&S ‘in the strongest financial health since 1997’ – London Business News | Londonlovesbusiness.com

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Marks & Spencer’s shares rose 7% on Wednesday morning as the retailer paid investors a full year dividend for the first time since 1997.

M&S announced a 58% rise in profits and the chief executive Stuart Machin said due to revival efforts the group are seeing “the beginnings of a new M&S.”

The group posted better than expected annual underlying pre-tax profits of £716.4 million, compared with £453.3 million the year before.

Machin said, “Two years into our plan to ‘reshape for growth’ we can see the beginnings of a new M&S.

“Food and Clothing and Home grew volume and value share ahead of the market and sales increased across stores and online.

“Both businesses have now delivered 12 consecutive quarters of sales growth and this trading momentum gives us wind in our sails, and confidence that our plan is working.”

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