M&S leads Britain’s market higher

Britain’s top share index advanced yesterday, as reassuring corporate reports helped counteract modest weakness in commodity-related stocks.

Retailer Marks & Spencer led the market higher, surging 9.7% after raising its margin outlook. Aircraft parts supplier Meggitt gained on its plan to start a share buyback programme. Marks & Spencer was the biggest gainer in the blue-chip Ftse 100 index, after Britain’s top clothing retailer by revenue posted a rise in underlying first-half profit for the first time in four years.

The update came a day after strong sales growth at discount fashion group Primark helped boost the earnings of parent AB Foods, although disappointing updates from supermarket Tesco and fashion chain Next had fuelled concern about the retail sector.


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