Profits are up again at Marks & Spencer as Stuart Rose continues to display the sort of Midas touch that will have The City falling over itself to offer congratulations.

The chief executive has yet to put a foot wrong in his master plan to rehabilitate the once ailing High Street giant, remaining cautious in his public utterances until fairly recently. Only once it was clear the M&S story was taking a much happier turn has he become more bullish in his approach.

From assembling the right team around him and bringing the M&S clothing brand kicking and screaming into the 21st century, to the slick TV advertising campaign featuring a bevvy of household names and voices, Mr Rose has cemented his position as the “special one” of the retail world.

Now, if releasing latest figures showing profits at Marks & Spencer have surged by than 28% to £965.2m wasn’t enough of a winning hand, the chief executive has produced another ace from his sleeve by announcing a significant new appointment.

One-time dot.com darling Martha Lane Fox is to join M&S as a non-executive director, pointing to the next phase of the retailer’s development.

Internet shopping is booming and M&S has recently revamped its online retail site. The appointment of Ms Fox is seen by analysts as a signal of just how serious Mr Rose is about creating a major online presence for M&S.

It wasn’t so long ago that M&S was regarded as something of a retailing dinosaur. These days it is being held up as a very modern business blueprint.

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