M&S profits top £1billion

MARKS & Spencer's annual profits topped £1 billion for the first time in a decade today.The profits of just over £1 billion for the year to March 29 were 4.3% ahead of last year.

MARKS & Spencer's annual profits topped £1 billion for the first time in a decade today.

The profits of just over £1 billion for the year to March 29 were 4.3% ahead of last year, but came alongside a 1.7% fall in like for like sales during the final three months of the year - the second successive quarter of sales declines after a disappointing Christmas.

Chief executive Sir Stuart Rose said he expected market conditions "to remain difficult for the foreseeable future".

M&S paid out a record £91 million in bonuses to its 75,000 staff last year but has slashed the payout this time after it failed to hit internal targets.

The group will however pay out £12.8 million to its 62,000 customer assistants, while a spokesman added that high-performing head office teams could share in a £4 million bonus pot.

Today's results represent M&S's best performance since 1997/98 and exceeded market forecasts of £989 million.