M&S saw food like-for-likes rise over the year for first time since summer 2007

M&S saw food like-for-likes rise over the year for first time since summer 2007

Marks and Spencer said this morning (25 May) the company had enjoyed the first rise in annual food sales for the first time in over two years as it booked an almost 5% rise in underlying profits.

The retailer reported a 4.6% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit to GBP632.5m (US$903.9m), with revenue up 3.2% at GBP9.3bn.

UK like-for-like sales rose 0.9%; food like-for-likes inched up 0.3%, a figure cited by chairman Sir Stuart Rose.

"In food, we returned to positive like-for-like growth for the first time in two years as we improved our value and innovation while maintaining our unrivalled quality," Rose said.

Rose, who is planning to leave the business in March, said M&S had had "a good year" thanks to "the resilience of the M&S brand".

Rose sounded a note of caution about the year ahead although he insisted the company was "well set for growth" under new chief executive Marc Bolland.

"With the worst effects of the recession behind us, strong foundations in place, and our core values intact, I am confident that M&S is well set for growth under Marc’s direction," Rose said.

 “We have had a satisfactory start to the first quarter. Consumers are naturally concerned about any impact of the Budget on 22 June. We therefore remain cautious about the outlook for the year ahead.”

Click here for the full earnings release from M&S; check back later for coverage of the retailer's press briefing later today.