M&S profits on the rise

MARKS & Spencer revealed a surge in annual profits today after winning market share in the face of "challenging" high street conditions.

The chain, which runs 600 stores in the UK, posted a 12.9 per cent increase in underlying pre-tax profits of 714 million in the year to April 2.

M&S, which sees around 21 million customers pass through its doors every week, said industry figures showed it boosted its clothing market share in the year by 0.5 per cent to 11.7 per cent and food market share by 1 per cent to 3.9 per cent.

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Helped by an advertising campaign featuring X-Factor judge Dannii Minogue and former footballer Jamie Redknapp, the retailer has put in a resilient performance over the year despite tough trading conditions which have squeezed many other high street operators.