London: British clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer on Wednesday forecast “modest” growth in revenue in its new financial year after 2022-23 profit beat expectations and said it would resume its dividend with an interim payout in November.
For the year to April 2, M&S made a profit before tax and adjusting items of 482 million pounds ($608 million) – ahead of analysts’ average forecast of 436 million pounds but down from the 523 million pounds made in 2021/22.
Profit fell in 2022/23 despite an 9.6% rise in revenue to 11.9 billion pounds, due to higher energy and labour costs and unhelpful currency moves.
It was also dented by M&S’s exit from Russia, the lack of the prior year’s government support on business rates and a share of losses from its online grocery joint venture with Ocado .
M&S said food sales increased 8.7% over the year, while clothing and home sales were up 11.5%, with its bias towards older, more affluent customers giving it some protection from an ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
It said it had made a good start to the 2023/24 year, with both food and clothing growing sales.
M&S has not paid a dividend since its 2019/20 year as part of a move to protect its balance sheet during the pandemic. (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)