Profit before tax at Marks and Spencer plummets 62.1%

May 23, 2018, 18:54
Profit before tax at Marks and Spencer plummets 62.1%

It is just one of a few United Kingdom high street giants who have announced store closures and job cuts.

The performance was dented by 321.1 million pounds in costs linked to the retailer's ongoing store closure programme in Britain.

M&S named 14 stores earmarked for closure, including in London's Bayswater and Holloway Road, with a total of 872 employees affected.

"At our half year results in November I outlined the need for accelerated change at M&S", said Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer CEO.

Shares in M&S have fallen 26% over the a year ago and the firm is in danger of being booted out of the FTSE 100 index.

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The shares were up 2.02pc at 297.7p mid-morning.

The retailer said that this is the first phase in the campaign that will see further prices lowered in the coming months.

"We have been clear about our plans to accelerate our store closure program and the action we must take to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth", an M&S spokesperson said.

It said online sales were growing, but that its online capability was "behind the best of our competitors and our website is too slow".

Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announced that it has dropped prices on 200 food lines in its "biggest ever" price investment in the Republic of Ireland.

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There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these.

"M&S is now teetering on the edge of relegation from the FTSE 100 in the quarterly reshuffle next week", said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

"And we're concentrating on tackling the culture of the business, making M&S a faster, lower cost and more commercial digital business".

He added: "M&S is simply struggling to make progress in a world where a compelling mobile app is every bit as important as a presence on the high street, and considerably less expensive". In addition, M&S reported strong cash generation, even after restructuring costs reduced net debt by 107.2 million pounds, enabling the group to maintain a full year dividend of 18.7p.

"That's reflected in the fact M&S is one of the most shorted stocks in the market, with 12% of the company's shares out on loan to those who have bet against it".

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