Marks & Spencer posts 3.9% fall in annual profit

Tuesday 20 May 2014 07.29
Marks & Spencer's profits have fallen below rival Next for the first time
Marks & Spencer's profits have fallen below rival Next for the first time

British retailer Marks & Spencer has posted a 3.9% fall in annual profit, a third straight decline, with three years of heavy investment yet to revive its underperforming non-food business.

Britain's biggest clothing retailer, which also sells homewares and upmarket food, said it made a profit before tax and one-off items of £623m in the year to 29 March.

That compares with analyst forecasts of £600-630m, with a consensus of £615m, and £665.2m made in 2012-13.

For the first time the profit outcome is below the annual profit made by faster growing rival Next.

M&S did, however, propose a maintained dividend of 17p.