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M&S annual profit soars 58%

STORY: Marks & Spencer saw a big rise in annual profit.

The British retailer reported Wednesday it was up 58%.

M&S made profit before tax and adjusting items of $913 million in the year to the end of March.

That was well ahead of market expectations and the figure made a year before.

Sales rose 9.4% to $16.7 billion, with food well up 13.0%, and clothing and home also rising.

Its a sign a strategy to re-shape the business delivered strong sales growth in both its food and clothing arms.

M&S also said it was confident of further progress in its new financial year.

And the firm said it wants to increase market share in various sectors over the next five years.

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Investors liked what they heard and shares soared 8% Wednesday.

The firm has endured two decades of failed turnaround effort.

But now under CEO Stuart Machin it has finally seen rewards from a big investment program to improve quality.