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Poor clothing sales see M&S’s profits slide

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Marks & Spencer store

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Marks and Spencer profits dropped in the first half of its financial year following a sharp fall in demand for its clothes and home goods.

The High Street retailer said that while its food business was “outperforming the market”, there had been issues in clothing and home.

Marks and Spencer is undergoing a transformation plan led by chief executive Steve Rowe.

He said after a “challenging” first half, it is now seeing improvements.

Overall, pre-tax profits tumbled by 17% to £176.5m on total sales down 2.1% to £4.86bn.

Like-for-like sales in clothing and home fell by 5.5% during the six months to 30 September, worse than an expected 4.3% drop.

In Wednesday’s FTSE 250 trading, the company’s shares fell 0.2% to 182 pence.

M&S said there had been “availability challenges” as a result of “supply chain issues and a shape of buy that remained too broad”.

‘Too slow’

The company is facing competition from fashion giants such as Primark on the High Street and Asos on the internet.

It said its clothing business “has historically been too slow to market” and had “too many slow-moving lines”.

M&S also said it was going to ensure that they had enough product in all sizes, and would be quicker to restock popular and fast-selling items in stores.

In addition it said it would…



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