StockMarketWire.com - Retailer Marks & Spencer saw revenue fall 15.8% in the six-month period to 26 September but hailed a 'robust performance' overall in the face of Covid-19.

The company posted a statutory pre-tax loss of £87.6 million, down from a pre-tax profit of £158.8 million a year ago, but free cash flow up from £23.3 million to £77.6 million.

The Food business saw life-for-like sales growth of 2.7%, 6.6% if hospitality is taken out of the equation, with the company also enjoying a net profit of £38.8 million from its 50% share of Ocado Retail.

Clothing & Home saw a revenue decline of 61.5% in the first quarter, improving to 21.3% in the second for an overall 40.8% decline. Online sales from this part of the group were up 34.3%. CEO Steve Rowe commented: 'From launching M&S Food online with Ocado to establishing an integrated online business division "MS2" to step-change growth, we are taking the right actions to come through the crisis stronger and set up to win in the new world.'



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