Marks & Spencer posted a 5.3% fall in pre-tax profit and held its dividend steady. Adjusted pre-tax profit, the company's preferred measure, fell to £219.1m, from £231.3m the previous year. Bottom line net profit jumped to £84.6m, from £15.9m. Revenue rose 2.6% to £5.13b, though UK revenue fell 0.3% on a like-for-like basis. "We have made good progress in remedying the immediate and burning issues at M&S I outlined last year," chief executive Steve Rowe said. "In Clothing & Home early results are encouraging and in International we now have a profitable and robust business. We recognise now that we face stronger headwinds in dood which will be addressed in the year ahead." "The business still has many structural issues to tackle as we embark on the next five years of our transformation, in the context of a very challenging retail and consumer environment. Today we are accelerating our plans to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth, making M&S special again."
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