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M&S Home registers strong growth from its Direct biz

May '08
Marks and Spencer Group plc reports preliminary results 2007/08, 52 weeks ended 29 March 2008.

Full Year Results:
• Sales up 5.1% at £9,022.0m: UK up 4.2%; International up 16.8%
• UK like-for-like sales -0.5%: General Merchandise -0.5%; Food -0.4%
• Adjusted profit before tax up 4.3% at £1,007.1m1
• Profit before tax up 20.5% to £1,129.1m
• Adjusted basic earnings per share up 7.9% at 43.6p1
• Basic earnings per share up 25.8% to 49.2p
• Dividend per share up 23.0% at 22.5p per share
• Bought-back 7.4% of issued share capital for £555.9m

Quarter 4 Trading:
• Q4 UK sales +3.7%: General Merchandise +0.1%
• Q4 UK like-for-like sales -1.7%: General Merchandise -3.1%

Good progress against our five priorities:
• UK: Profit up 1.7%; Clothing volume market share +50bps to 11.2%; value share held at 11.0%. Food share up 10bps to 4.3%;
• Property: 4.8% new space opened; 35% refurbished, taking total now modernised to 70%;
• M&S Direct: Growth of 63% online; market share up 200bps to 6.2%;
• International: Profit up 33.0%; 20% space added during year; investments made in Central and Eastern Europe and India; Store to open in Shanghai in Autumn;
• Plan A: 17 of the 100 commitments delivered; progress on 77 underway

Sir Stuart Rose, Chief Executive, said:
“Despite tougher economic conditions in the second half, M&S had a good year. Profit before tax was up at over £1.0bn with earnings per share up 8%. We have returned £914m to shareholders through the buy-back of 7.4% of our shares and a 23% increase in our dividend.

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