Belfast Telegraph

M-amp;S to fix its fashion faux pas

Marks -amp; Spencer has said it was taking "decisive action" to remedy the costly mistakes that left it nursing a 10% drop in half-year profits.

The high street bellwether reported pre-tax profits of £290m in the six months to September 29, down from £321m a year ago as it paid the price for failing to stock-up on best-selling womenswear ranges earlier in the year.

M-amp;S said there were better signs in the run up to Christmas, with like-for-like non-food sales falling by a better-than-feared 1.8% in the second quarter - a marked improvement on the 6.8% slide seen in the first three months, which was its worst performance for more than three years.

The group said it was taking bolder moves to back key fashion trends, which was already paying off as it sold 44,000 military coats in the half-year.

It has also overhauled its general merchandise team and hired new managers.

But under-pressure chief executive Marc Bolland warned recent trading had been "volatile" and the second half of the year would be tough.

Shares rose nearly 2% as the figures came in slightly above expectations in the City.

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