M&S to bounce back from first loss in 94 years

Marks & Spencer is expected to announce a strong profit and food sales in its half-year results next week.

The Times reports that, for the first time in years, none of the 11 City analysts covering the retailer have given it a “sell” rating.

If their predictions of between £205 million and £252 million of underlying half-year profits are accurate, this is well above pre-Covid levels of £180 million.

In its interim results last year, the grocer made a £17 million loss – the first in its 94 years of trading.

READ MORE: £9bn fund manager ditches Amazon shares for M&S

Marks & Spencer, which dropped out of the FTSE 100 in 2019, has recently tried to gear its food towards family shoppers.

It has boosted sales by adding more children’s food options and through a £750 million venture with Ocado.

Analysts expect the retailer to record a 10 per cent rise in food sales.

In its most recent trading update, in the 19 weeks to August 14, food revenue increased by 10.8 per cent while other supermarkets saw growth grind to a halt.

It ordered a quarter more Christmas food than in 2020, expecting families to indulge after last year’s lockdown.

Marks & Spencer’s clothing division has also been boosted by a shift to e-commerce and more third-party brands.

In the last week, shares – which opened today at 194.85p – have stood around their highest point since January 2020.

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