Marks and Spencer holds 2013 dividend at last years level of 17p

DividendMax Ltd.

Marks and Spencer holds 2013 dividend at last years level of 17p

Group sales up 2.7% at £10.3bn

• Total UK sales +2.3%: Food +4.2%; General Merchandise 0.0%

• Like-for-like UK sales +0.2%: Food +1.7%; General Merchandise -1.4%

• International sales +6.2%1

• Multi-channel sales +22.8%

• Underlying profit before tax2 -3.9%3 to £623m

• Statutory profit before tax +6.1%3 to £580m

• Underlying basic earnings per share2 +0.9%3 to 32.2p 

• Basic earnings per share +14.8%3 to 32.5p

 Full year dividend 17.0p per share level on the year

• Net debt down £150.7m to £2.46bn

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said:

"M&S grew sales by 2.7% last year. We are focused on improving our performance in General Merchandise and were pleased to see early signs of improvement. Our Food business had a very strong year, consistently outperforming the market.

"Three years ago, we recognised the scale of investment required to transform our business, investing to strengthen our foundations and improve our customer offer. We are making solid progress on this journey and are now focused on delivery."

Robert Swannell, Chairman, said:

"The investment made in executing our strategy over the last three years puts M&S in a stronger position to compete in a retail world undergoing profound change. Our priorities now are to deliver on the investment we have made and to make M&S a more profitable, stronger and well-equipped business.

"In line with our dividend policy, the Board is recommending a final dividend of 10.8p per share, resulting in a full year dividend of 17.0p per share, level on last year."

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