By Jonathan Davies

Marks & Spencer has reported a rise in annual profits for the first time in four years.

The High Street retailer said profits were up 6.1% from the previous year to £661.2 million.

It comes after an "outstanding year" for its food business. But 'general merchandise', which includes its clothing ranges, failed to meet expectations.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said the company has returned to growing profits despite the most challenging retail market for 15 years.

Dan Wagner, eCommerce veteran and CEO and Founder of Powa Technologies, said: “The positive buzz surrounding Marks & Spencer’s full-year results demonstrate the importance of maintaining a single, sustained vision in today’s unforgiving retail environment

"The retail giant has invested billions to modernise its operation over the years, but has still been faced with a series of tough setbacks in its digital strategy. The newly overhauled online store left many consumers baffled and was hit by a major glitch, and errors in the delivery system forced it to cancel next-day deliveries during the crucial pre-Christmas season."