Marks and Spencer’s announce profit rise for the first time in four years

Retailer Marks and Spencer’s have posted their first annual profit rise in four years. They stated it would be return excess cash dividends to shareholders. Marks and Spencer’s is Britain’s largest clothing retailer and has expansive homewares and successful food departments. Pre-tax profits show £661.2 million in the year to March 28th.

Chairman Robert Swannell said that “We are a more capable business following a sustained period of investment in our infrastructure and in our people’. Shares in M&S, one of Britain’s best known high street shopping chains, have risen by a third over the last nine months, hitting an eight-year high on Tuesday.

These reignited profits are a result of major store and product redesign as well as the supply chain and website. Billions of pounds were spent on a resurgence by Chief Executive Marc Boland. Mr Bolland, in the job since 2010, has focused on boosting profit margins. He delivered a rise in the 2014-15 gross margin for general merchandise – spanning clothing, footwear and homewares – of 190 basis points. M&S said it expected further progress in the 2015-16 year.