Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Food shops in the spotlight as M&S set to announce results

The retailer announces its results on Wednesday (Charlotte Ball/PA)
The retailer announces its results on Wednesday (Charlotte Ball/PA)

Investors will be looking for signs that consumers are cutting back on more expensive food when Marks & Spencer announces its full-year results on Wednesday.

The retail giant is expected to show that pre-tax profits reached £522 million in the year to the end of March.

Food sales are predicted to rise 10.3% while clothing and homeware sales are expected to climb by 46.6% compared to the same period last year.

But with inflation reaching a 40-year high of 9% in April, the squeeze on households’ disposable income could mean consumers turn away from more expensive food items in favour of a cheaper shop.

Analysts also warn M&S may be forced to raise clothing and homeware prices across its stores in the months ahead.

Economists say lower-income households are being worse hit because they spend a larger portion of their incomes on energy bills, which are rising rapidly.

It means they are facing double-digit inflation while wealthier families are less affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

This could mean M&S’s customers, who tend to be more affluent, are insulated from rising prices while the supermarket could benefit from people opting to eat in rather than dine out.

Sophie Lund-Yates, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Marks & Spencer finds itself in a tricky spot with inflation running high.

“Mid-week treats are likely to be rubbed off shopping lists, meaning the food business may be in for a tough time, as households scramble to economise.

“The flip side of this of course is that the group’s core demographic is unlikely to be too perturbed by the cost-of-living crisis, which should offset some lost sales.”

Shareholders will also have a watchful eye on M&S’s clothing and homeware business which has recently enjoyed a boost in popularity.

Before the pandemic the division struggled with sales for several years. It was later also hit by store closures during lockdown but has since bounced back to profit.

Ms Lund-Yates added: “The clothing business has had a very tough few years, but has made good progress of late.

“Most importantly, growth online is what to watch next week. A failure to keep hold of digital momentum is unlikely to go down well with the market.”

M&S reports its full-year results on Wednesday May 25.

Already a subscriber? Sign in