The popular high street retailer plunged to a £201.2 million pre-tax loss for the year to March 27, with its clothing and home business taking a huge hit from imposed lockdown restrictions. This compared to a £67.2 million statutory profit in the previous year. M&S reported like-for-like revenues in its food business actually increased by 1.3 percent over the 12 months period.
But the group saw its clothing and home business slump by almost a third (31.5 percent) – despite online growth of 53.9 percent.
The retailer’s Clothing and home operations made a £129.4 million operating loss, but M&S said the performance in this sector improved in the second half of its financial year.
M&S added sales in this department have also returned to growth since the reopening of all of its stores when lockdown restrictions eased further on April 12.
The company’s food business continued to perform well under testing circumstances, which grew 6.9 percent, excluding its hospitality and franchise arms.
The retailer has also hailed a strong integration with Ocado after both firms launched their online grocery joint venture last September.
Despite the huge losses, M&S insisted its balance sheet is also “stronger than expected” following the impact of the pandemic.
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