Marks & Spencer store front

Source: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer sales surged 9.4% to £13.1bn last year, thanks to bumper growth across the retailer’s food and clothing lines (Mail).

The boss of Marks and Spencer has hailed “the beginnings of a new M&S” after the UK retailer posted higher than expected profits and announced its first dividend since 2019 (Financial Times £).

The boss of Marks & Spencer lauded the “beginnings of a new M&S” after its refreshed clothing business attracted a younger audience and as it continued to reap the rewards from its investments in food (The Times £).

Unveiling annual results described as ‘dazzling’ by one analyst, Stuart Machin said ‘we’re at the beginnings of a new M&S’ as it appeals to a broader base of shoppers (Mail)

The boss of Marks & Spencer says he is hopeful of a “growth story for years to come” after the revitalised retailer won over one million more shoppers to boost profits by 41% (The Guardian).

Marks & Spencer is in the “strongest financial health since 1997”, bosses have said, after sales at the FTSE 100 retailer jumped more than £1bn last year (Telegraph £).

Demand for Marks & Spencer knickers among younger women has helped fuel a £1bn sales boost at the retailer, propelling it to its strongest performance since 1997 (Telegraph £).

The Grocer reports that Ocado and M&S could be on course for a legal showdown over the final payment in their £750m joint venture, with the latter adamant it is not owed. 

The Times (£) runs a longer-form profile looking at how the nation fell for M&S again.

The Guardian business editorial reckons M&S’s revival is the real deal. “The retail giant has clocked up 12 consecutive quarters of sales growth but it must remember mistakes of the past,” the paper writes.

“It’s the Machin and Norman show as M&S comes back with a bang,” the Mail says in its editorial.

The Lex column in the Financial Times (£) gives its take on why this M&S turnaround should finally stick. “A new stores format and better supply chain have helped the retailer achieve consistent sales growth,” the paper writes.

Analysis by Sky News says M&S results give genuine hope that its fortunes have turned a corner.

Eating lots of ultra-processed foods could harm brain health, according to a large trial linking the products to stroke and dementia (The Times £).

Despite a growing body of evidence, ‘Big Food’ is trying to dampen fears about the health effects of ultra-processed foods, according to a feature in Financial Times (£).

Symprove, a leading manufacturer of probiotic supplements, is being groomed for a sale that is expected to fetch at least £250m. Sky News reports that bd-capital, a British-based private equity firm, has appointed investment bankers at Jefferies to prepare an auction that is expected to result in a transaction taking place in 2025 at the earliest.

Inflation fell sharply last month to the lowest level in nearly three years (The Times £).

UK inflation fell to 2.3% in April – its lowest level for almost three years – but the decline was smaller than expected, denting hopes of an early interest rate cut (The Guardian).

The Guardian also looks at which goods and services have changed most in price.

While Rishi Sunak’s government trumpeted Wednesday’s steep drop in headline inflation, the detail of the report made for uncomfortable reading within the Bank of England (The Financial Times £).

Hundreds of NHS patients have been prescribed fruit and vegetables by GPs in a pioneering scheme found to help them lose weight and lower blood pressure (The Times £).

Global brand fast-food franchise owners in India have suffered plunging profits as hundreds of millions of the country’s middle-class and low-income consumers struggle to cope with rising living costs (The Financial Times £).