The warm September weather has impacted Marks & Spencer's clothing sales: for the 13th quarter in a row sales have gone down for the British chain.
Nevertheless, the company says it is happy with the first half of its current fiscal year. CEO Marc Bolland had promised to grow gross margins 1 % this year, but they were already up 1.5 % in the first half. Food sales were also up, with a 1 % like-for-like turnover growth in the first 6 months of the current fiscal year: that means Marks & Spencer outperformed the four largest British supermarket chains.
The clothing sales drop was partially offset by higher margins, which have resulted in a mere 0.4 % pre-tax profit drop to 279 million pounds (350 million euro). "We are pleased with the progress we have made against our key priorities for the year", the CEO said, even though he won't be happy with the 6.3 % online sales drop and the 3.4 % turnover drop for international activities.