M&S launches 1 bln stg buyback, international push

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LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) Marks&Spencer, Britain's largest apparel retailer, announced a 1 billion pound ( LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) Marks&Spencer, Britain's largest apparel retailer, announced a 1 billion pound ($2.08 billion) share buyback on Tuesday and unveiled a major push into China and India.

Profit before tax at the group rose 11.5 percent to 451.8 million pounds in the 26 weeks to Sept. 29, slightly ahead of analyst expectations.

Sales of general merchandise at Marks&Spencer's UK stores open at least a year rose 2.3 percent. Comparable food sales rose 0.5 percent in the six month period.

Five analysts polled by Reuters on average had expected profit before tax of 447 million pounds.

REUTERS BJR BD1250 .08 billion) share buyback on Tuesday and unveiled a major push into China and India.

Profit before tax at the group rose 11.5 percent to 451.8 million pounds in the 26 weeks to Sept. 29, slightly ahead of analyst expectations.

Sales of general merchandise at Marks&Spencer's UK stores open at least a year rose 2.3 percent. Comparable food sales rose 0.5 percent in the six month period.

Five analysts polled by Reuters on average had expected profit before tax of 447 million pounds.

REUTERS BJR BD1250

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