Retail major Marks & Spencer (M&S) has reported a 0.9% rise in revenue to £4.69bn for the first half ended 29 September 2012 as against £4.67bn for the first half ended 1 October 2011.

The group’s operating profit in the first half decreased to £347.6m, compared to £365.5m for the same period in 2011.

M&S profit before tax declined 10% in the first half to 289.5m, down from 320.5m for the same period in the previous year.

General Merchandise sales were down 2.5% with like-for-like sales down 4.3%.

Online sales jumped 17.8% in the first half and 21.6% in Q2 while its international sales increased 3.6% and 6.1% respectively.

Food sales jumped 3.4% in H1 2012 while they grew 3.9% in Q2. In the 26 weeks ended 29th September 2012, UK total sales grew 0.6%.

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said the firm in the second quarter took steps to address the short term merchandising issues in General Merchandise and as a result, it delivered an improved performance.

"Eighteen months in, we are making strong progress with our plan to transform M&S into an International Multi-channel retailer. Our new International stores are performing well, and our Multi-channel business is delivering strong growth," Bolland added.

M&S is a UK-based retail major, whose product portfolio includes apparel for men, women, and children. It provides lingerie, cosmetics, footwear, food items, homeware, groceries and ready meals.

The company offers these products under private label brands that include Classic, Portfolio, Indigo, Autograph, North Coast, Blue Harbour, Limited Collection, per una and Collezione.

M&S sells the merchandise through a network of 1,118 company-owned and franchised stores. It operates in the UK through 731 stores and 387 stores across 42 other countries through 387 stores.