StockMarketWire.com - Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer posted a 20% drop in annual profit after clothing sales were crimped in the latter part of its financial year by the Covid-19 crisis.

Pre-tax profit for the year through March fell to £67.2m, down from £84.2m on-year, as revenue fell 1.9% to £10.18bn.

The company had already announced that it was scrapping its final dividend.

Like-for-like food revenue grew 1.9%, while operating profit in that division grew 11.2%.

Like-for-like clothing revenue dropped 6.2% and operating profit tumbled 37%.

Marks & Spencer is hoping the acquisition of a 50% stake in Ocado's online grocery business will buoy food sales going forward.

'Last year's results reflect a year of substantial progress and change including the transformative investment in Ocado Retail, outperformance in food and some green shoots in clothing in the second half,' chief executive Steve Rowe said.

'However, they now seem like ancient history as the trauma of the Covid crisis has galvanised our colleagues to secure the future of the business.'

'Whilst some customer habits will return to normal others have changed forever, the trend towards digital has been accelerated, and changes to the shape of the high street brought forward.'

'Most importantly working habits have been transformed and we have discovered we can work in a faster, leaner, more effective way.'

'I am determined to act now to capture this and deliver a renewed, more agile business in a world that will never be the same again.'





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