The lengthy turnaround of Marks & Spencer has begun to pay dividends with the retailer confirming its first shareholder payout in almost four years alongside a “massive beat” in its first-half profits (The Times £). Marks and Spencer is to pay a dividend for the first time since before the pandemic as bumper food sales powered the UK retailer to a better than expected first-half profit (Financial Times £). Marks & Spencer has said it will resume dividend payments for the first time since 2019, as the retailer revealed profits rose by more than £150m in the first half of the year (Telegraph).

Marks & Spencer profits far exceeded forecasts as the retailer was buoyed by a rise in food sales and the revival of its clothing ranges (Daily Mail). Marks & Spencer has reported much better-than-expected profits for the first half of the year, as the retailer continues to revamp its brand (BBC). Marks & Spencer has credited further progress in its turnaround strategy for a 75% surge in profits, achieved despite £30m of discounting to lure food shoppers amid the supermarket price war (Sky News)

Marks & Spencer has regained its crown as the UK’s biggest womenswear retailer for the first time in four years, helping drive a much better than expected 56% increase in profits (The Guardian). Marks & Spencer’s turnaround is well on track, with the department store reclaiming its crown as Britain’s biggest women’s wear retailer and food sales booming (Telegraph).

Alistair Osborne in The Times writes: “Quite remarksable. Another set of figures from Marks & Spencer and the shares go up again. What is going on at Britain’s knickers-to-noodles emporium? Much more of this and Sir Philip “Effing” Green will turn up with a bid.” (The Times £)

The Mail’s Alex Brummer writes: “The comeback of Marks & Spencer is one of the more remarkable turnarounds… Historically M&S enjoyed the highest rating of share price to earnings in Britain’s retail sector. That status was lost during two decades of underperformance. Now there is a chance it can reclaim the highest ground.” (Daily Mail)

The Times’ Tempus column adds: “A recovery in the shares this year is justified but it leaves the retailer valued closely to its long-running average. To bet that there is more upside to come, it needs to demonstrate that the group can pull off a more enduring improvement in its profitability and balance sheet.” (The Times £)

Caramac fans are dismayed after the food multinational Nestlé confirmed that it was discontinuing the caramel-flavoured bar (The Guardian). Caramac and Animal Bar are to be discontinued by Nestle after more than 60 years (Sky News).

Lidl is rolling out body cameras for staff in all UK stores as it ramps up efforts to tackle a surge in shoplifting. (Telegraph)

160 people have approached the BBC with new allegations about behaviour at McDonalds after a BBC investigation. They include claims of sexual assault, harassment, racism and bullying. McDonald’s said it was “determined” to root out behaviour that falls below the high standards it expects of staff. (BBC)