Marks and Spencer said it plans to open a further 50 Simply Food stores in the coming year, launch a combined credit and loyalty card and open a new concept home store.

For the year to March 29 M&S posted an 11.5% rise in pre-tax profit to £721.3m up from £646.7m last year, on turnover that rose 6% to £8.08bn.

M&S said that its food offer had outperformed the market and gained share through high quality products and innovation including the relaunch of its Indian and Chinese ranges.

Sales at its Simply Food format are “in excess of the average for food”. The company said that it has extended its agreement with foodservice group Compass to place Simply Food stores at railway stations. In total M&S plans to open 150 Simply Food units by 2006.

Chief executive Roger Holmes said that although M&S is now operating in a more testing environment, it sees “significant opportunities” for improved efficiency in sourcing and costs.