Profits down at Marks and Spencer

<p>Marks and Spencer has reported a major drop in profits.</p>

Marks and Spencer has reported a big drop in its profits, with weak sales in its clothing division blamed by the firm for the poor results.

Pre-tax profits fell to £564.3 million, according to a statement from the company, which is down from £658 million last year. This represents a 14 per cent dip in profits for the high street firm.

This is despite the fact that group sales were up by 1.3 per cent to £10 billion for the year to March 30th. Trading conditions for the organisation were described as "challenging" by its chief executive Marc Bolland.

Food sales rose by 1.7 per cent at Marks and Spencer, but sales of general merchandise – which includes the clothing division of the company – fell by more than four per cent in the year.

Despite the drop in its profits, the share price of Marks and Spencer is slightly up in this morning's (May 21st) trading on the London Stock Exchange.

At 08:36 BST, its shares were selling for two per cent more than when the market opened.

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