, LONDON, May 21 – British high street retailer Marks & Spencer said Tuesday that annual net profits fell nine percent amid “challenging” trading conditions.
Earnings after taxation declined to £466.7 million ($712 million, 552 million euros) in the 52 weeks to March 30, compared with £513.1 million in the previous financial year, M&S said in a results statement.
Underlying pre-tax profits sank six percent to £665.2 million.
Group sales however rose 1.3 percent to £10 billion, lifted by a strong performance at the food division and growth in international markets.
“The market continued to be challenging throughout the financial year, with consumer confidence impacted by a weak macro-economic situation and continued pressure on disposable incomes,” the retailer said in the earnings release.
“Trading was volatile, partly as a result of unseasonable weather conditions through both Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons.
“Against this backdrop we focused on tight management of margin and costs.”