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Marks & Spencer profits fall on mistakes, economy

Bellwether retailer Marks & Spencer posted a second consecutive year of falling first-half profit, reflecting mistakes in its clothing offer and the pressure facing UK consumers.

The 128-year-old group, UK’s biggest clothing retailer which also sells homewares and upmarket food, said on Tuesday it made a profit before tax and one-off items of GBP297 million (USD474.4m) in the 26 weeks to 29 September.

That compares with analyst forecasts of GBP250-305m, with a consensus of GBP280m, according to a company poll, and a pro-forma GBP307m in the same period last year.