LONDON: The doyenne of British retailing, Marks and Spencer - more familiar now as M&S - has posted better-than-expected £406.5 million ($774m; €606m) pretax half-year profits. Total revenues rose by 11% to £3.93bn over the same period last year.

The dramatic turnaround in its fortunes has been attributed in no small measure to the success of its clothing and food advertising campaigns, which have helped to restore public confidence in the once ailing brand.

Figures from Nielsen Media Research show that in the last year M&S spent £61.6m on advertising, an increase from £45m the previous year. The company is slowly approaching the adspend of supermarket giant Tesco, which at £71m is the UK retail leader.

  • M&S won the Grand Prix at last week's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's Effectiveness Awards 2006, which subscribers can view here.

    Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff