M&S suffers profit fall

Marks & Spencer has announced half-year profits down by 34%, with both food and clothing sales falling by more than 5%.

According to the chain, pre-tax profit stood at £291.8m in the first half of the financial year, down from £451.8m a year earlier.

Chairman Stuart Rose said trade had been volatile and he remained cautious about the rest of the year due to the economic climate, telling the BBC the retailer was facing the most difficult market conditions since the early 1990s.

Food sales fell by 5.3% and Rose said M&S was now "realigning" the prices of 530 products.

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