Marks & Spencer increases its 2014 interim dividend by 3.2%

DividendMax Ltd.

Marks & Spencer increases its 2014 interim dividend by 3.2%


Group sales +1.0% to £4.9bn

Underlying PBT +2.3% to £268m

Statutory PBT at £279m

GM sales performance impacted by September

GM first half sales -2.3%, LFL -2.9%; Clothing -1.6%, LFL -2.2%

Unseasonal conditions in September adversely impacted the first half by c.1.3%

M& first half sales -6.3%, improving trend and on track for growth ahead of peak trading period

Womenswear performance improved

Sales +1.3% in the first five months of the year with improving trend

Improvement in full price sales with increasingly positive customer feedback

General Merchandise gross margin up strongly

Gross margin +150bps, ahead of full year guidance of +100bps

Significant sourcing gains and lower promotional activity

Food business continues to outperform the market

Food first half sales +3.6%; LFL +1.0%

Specialist positioning continues to set us apart from the competition

Gross margin +25bps

International sales +1.2%, operating profit level

Owned business performed well; franchise impacted by local currency and political issues

Tight control of costs and capex

Operating costs +2.7%, lower than full year guidance of +4%

Capex £176.8m, in line with c.£500-550m full year guidance

Strong cash generation

EBITDA £578.8m, up £37.7m

Free cash flow before dividend and share transactions up £73m

Dividend up 0.2p to 6.4p

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said:

"M&S delivered sales growth and increased profit in the first half despite a tough market, particularly in September. We are pleased with the progress we have made against our key priorities for the year: GM gross margin, improving Womenswear, driving Food growth and Cash generation."

Companies mentioned