Marks and Spencer (M&S) said on Tuesday that its pre-tax profit for the full year ended 29 March just exceeded £1 billion, an increase of 4.3 per cent from the previous year.

The supermarket saw total sales rise 5.1 per cent to just over £9 billion with growth in the UK of 4.2 per cent. The biggest sales growth however was in M&S's international operations, which rose 16.8 per cent.

Adjusted basic earnings per share in M&S were up 7.9 per cent to 43.6 pence. Dividend per share was up 23 per cent to 22.5 pence per share.

The company also gave results for its fourth quarter at the beginning of this year. The impact of the credit crunch and a drop in consumer confidence saw like for like sales at M&S drop 1.7 per cent, with general merchandise sales falling 3.1 per cent and food down 0.5 per cent in the period.

Profit in the UK however was still up in the fourth quarter by 1.7 per cent, international operations for the supermarket saw profits rise 33 per cent thanks to new stores in Eastern Europe and India.

Sir Stuart Rose, chief executive of M&S, said, Despite tougher economic conditions in the second half, M&S had a good year.

Rose added, We expect market conditions to remain difficult for the foreseeable future and are managing our business accordingly. Tight stock control and management of costs are a priority. M&S is well positioned to compete in this challenging market.