| 9.7°C Dublin

First-half profit for M&S Ireland

Marks & Spencer has said its business in Ireland delivered good sales and a first-half profit, although it warned that trading here remains difficult.

The retail giant announced the closure of four stores in Ireland last year as well as 180 job cuts as it moved to slash costs.

Overall, an improvement in women's clothing helped M&S post its first rise in first-half profit in four years, although analysts said it was too soon to declare a turnaround.

Shares in the main street stalwart jumped more than 8pc yesterday as results showed cost cutting and rising sales of upmarket food offset a deepening decline in homewares and overall clothing, which account for around half of all sales.