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Marks and Spencer Group Plc’ share price down, posts 16% net profit increase despite weak clothing sales

The largest clothing retailer in the U.K. – Marks and Spencer Group Plc – posted its results for the financial year ended March 29th. The company reported a decline in its annual profit, marking a third consecutive drop on an annual basis.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company – Mr. Marc Bolland said in the retailers statement, which was cited by the Wall Street Journal: “We are focused on improving our performance in general merchandise and were pleased to see early signs of improvement. Our food business had a very strong year, consistently outperforming the market.”

Marks and Spencer Group Plc made an official statement, revealing that there was a 16% increase in its net profit, but its underlying pre-tax profit declined by 3.9% to 623 million pounds (1 billion dollars) in the year that ended March 29th. In comparison, the result posted a year ago amounted to 665.2 million pounds. Nevertheless, the figures surpassed the median analysts estimate of 614.5 million pounds profit.

The company also explained that it intends to expand its reach by pushing its growth to the food stores of U.K. Marks and Spencer is a company with a long history, but it has faced some difficulties related to “fast fashion” brands like Uniqlo and H&M and online shopping. The retailer intends to focus on improving its business by paying extra attention to its footwear, clothing and home products business.

The Chief Financial Officer Mr. Bolland also said in the companys statement, which was cited by Bloomberg: “Three years ago, we recognized the scale of investment required to transform our business, investing to strengthen our foundations and improve our customer offer. We are making solid progress on this journey and are now focused on delivery.”

Marks and Spencer Group Plc was losing 1.96% to trade at 442.16 pence per share by 12:02 GMT, marking a one year change of -0.43%. According to the information published on the Financial Times, the 25 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Marks and Spencer Group Plc have a median target of 490.00, with a high estimate of 609.00 and a low estimate of 340.00. The median estimate represents a 7.57% increase from the last price of 455.50.

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