Updates from M&S, SSE and Burberry

M&S full-year profits climb for the first time in four years meanwhile SSE confirms Ferrybridge closure

savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, M&S, Burberry, SSEThe FTSE 100 finished five points shy of the 7,000 threshold on Tuesday at 6,995.1, a 26-point hike. Coca-Cola HBC and Land Securities Group saw the biggest climbs, up 4.3% and 4.0% respectively (to 1480p and 1363p) with Intu Properties seeing a 3.1% surge. Miners BHP Billiton and Fresnillo fell back 3.9% and 3.5% however (to 1405p and 764p) while Vodafone numbers retreated also, down 3.2%.

In the US the Dow Jones pushed ahead, up 13 points hitting 18,351.3, another new high for the blue-chip index. Today, closely-watched meeting minutes from the Fed are issued.

We pull in first to M&Sfor its full, final numbers - and the retailer's first rise in profits for four years. Group sales climb 0.4% to £10.3bn while underlying profit before tax is up 6.1% to £661.2m. Statutory profit before tax surges 3.4% to £600m.

M&S admits full year General Merchandise performance did not meet expectations, though there was positive like-for-like growth in the final quarter. On the international front, operating profit slumped 24.8% to £92m.

For investors, the full year dividend climbs 5.9% to 18p with the promise of more increases to come. "Our focus," says chairman Robert Swannell, "continues to be on delivery of the strategy and improvement in shareholder returns."

Next up, we move move onto SSE. For the full year adjusted earnings per share increases 0.6% to 124.1 pence while adjusted profit before tax is up 0.9% to £1,564.7m.

Reported profit before tax is up 24.1% to £735.2m; the full-year dividend is upped 2% to 88.4 pence per share while the dividend is covered 1.40 times by adjusted earnings per share.

Meanwhile SSE says its Ferrybridge coal-fired power station will close in March 2016 with the loss of 180 jobs. SSE blames "difficult economic conditions" and the lack of an agreement to provide capacity in an auction run by DECC.

Lastly, bags-to-macs fashion player Burberry. Revenues climb 11% to £2.5bn. Adjusted profit before tax comes in at £456m, up 7% on an underlying basis. The full year dividend rises 10% to 35.2p.

Retail sales are up 14% on an underlying basis with comparable sales growth of 9%. There was double-digit growth in Americas and the EMEIA region. Heritage trench coats and scarves drove much of the sales improvement says Burberry.

However boss Christopher Bailey warns that at this stage of the year, "we are seeing increased uncertainty in some markets. Against this background, we will continue to manage our business dynamically."

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