Food sales for the full year were strong, with a revenue increase of 4.2% year-on-year. The market share also increased by 3.9% (Kantar Worldpanel Food and Drink share 52 w/e 17 April 2011) and its gross margin was up c.20 basis points at 30.8%. This was attributed to better management of promotions and waste, which helped to mitigate the increase in commodity prices.
Overall revenue was up 4.2% year-on-year, to £9.7bn.
Chairman Robert Swannell said: “Marks & Spencer has a very clear plan and direction, and management is making good progress at all levels throughout the business.
“We have had a good start to the new financial year but we expect trading conditions in the year ahead to be challenging due to rising pressure on consumers’ disposable incomes and high commodity prices. As a result we are cautious about the outlook.”
M&S also increased its food product range by 25%, introduced 1,900 new lines over the year, which it promoted through advertising, promotions and in-store cafes. The company said it continues to focus on improving space utilisation in its food halls to allow greater space for more new products - it is planned to go from 7,000 to 8,000 lines.