After years in the doldrums, there seems to be something of a swagger about Marks & Spencer, which is back in the FTSE 100 after a four-year hiatus.

The launch of the autumn range featuring Sienna Miller was well received, and the Christmas TV advert featuring Hannah Waddingham and Sophie Ellis-Bextor has certainly caused a stir.

Against this backdrop, there will be no shortage of attention when M&S publishes half year figures on Wednesday.

In a bullish update in August, the company said it expected the results ‘to show a significant improvement against previous expectations’.

Food sales over the first 19 weeks of the year were up 11 per cent and there was a 6 per cent rise in clothing and home.

And with shares up 80 per cent so far this year, expectations are high, which is not always an easy position to be in.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Investors will want to know if momentum is continuing at Marks and Spencer after a succession of wins illustrating that its turnaround strategy is paying off… Its stock selection has received the thumbs up from shoppers.’

However, the warm weather has severely disrupted spending patterns so far this autumn. There will be much focus on the prospects for Christmas – when shoppers will once again be keeping a cautious eye on their outgoings.

So has M&S really got its mojo back at long last? We may well find out next week.

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