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British retailer Marks and Spencer is on track to return to the FTSE 100, up more than 7% after it raised its annual profit forecast on the back of strong sales.

Apparel and home sales rose more than 6% year-over-year through the first 19 weeks of the fiscal year, led by strong store growth, while food sales rose 11%, the company said Tuesday.

“We now expect full-year results for 2022-23 to show profit growth and interim results to show a significant improvement over previous expectations,” M&S said. decline.

Shares in M&S were up 7 percent in early trade on Tuesday and are up more than 60 percent for the year. M&S now has a market capitalization of £4.3bn, making it eligible for inclusion in the FTSE 100 – nearly four years after the company was downgraded for the first time in its 139-year history.

To enter the blue-chip index, the company needs to rise to No. 90 or above. The 90th-ranked company had a market capitalization of 4.2 billion pounds as of the close on Friday 11 August, according to the London Stock Exchange.

Clive Black, director of research at Shore Capital, said: “If equities continue to move in the right direction, more material appreciation could follow, along with a return to the FTSE 100.”

The next rebalancing of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 will take place on 18 September, with rankings based on market capitalization at the close on 29 August. The LSE said it was “unable to speculate” on whether M&S would make an adjustment.

The M&S upgrade is the latest evidence the retailer is delivering on its long-promised recovery after two decades of failed rebranding.

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M&S chief executive Stuart Machin, who succeeds Steve Rowe, joined chairman Archie Norman and co-chief executive Katie Bewkes Taffe (Katie Bickerstaffe) spearheaded the turnaround of the chain.

Its food business benefited from wider selection, lower prices on its Remarksable line and revamped some stores to attract more customers. The company has also rounded out its clothing and home offerings since former Tesco executive Richard Price joined the operation in 2020, with strong sales of beachwear, swimwear and linen between April and June .

Profit for the full year to April 2023 rose from £391.7 million to £475.7 million, with sales up 9.9% to nearly £12 billion.

M&S’s unplanned update follows recent upbeat statements from other UK retailers such as Primark and Next.


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