London (dpa) – Marks & Spencer Group posted a profit hike Wednesday that chief executive Marc Bolland said was evidence “the style is back” at the iconic British retailer despite clothing sales continuing a fall that began three years ago.
Pre-tax profit rose 2.3 per cent for the six months to September to 268 million pounds ($428 million) from 262 million pounds during the same period last year.
Sales over the six-month period rose 1 per cent to 4.9 billion pounds from 4.8 billion pounds in 2013.
The food aisles again helped to prop up the clothing departments.
“Customers are telling us that the style is back at M&S,” Bolland said.
Annual profits have fallen three years in a row and Bolland is hoping to break a run that has seen the 130-year-old department store fall behind traditional rivals like Next and new entrants like Primark.