Britain's M&S targets rapid change after latest profit drop

M&S profits plunge 62pc amid sweeping store closure plans

M&S profits plunge 62pc amid sweeping store closure plans

"M&S will now close over 100 stores in total by 2022, including 21 that have already closed and the 14 stores that are announced today as proposed for closure or set to close", the company said.

M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, faces unrelenting competition from supermarkets, fashion chains like Zara, H&M and Primark, as well as Amazon, while pressure on consumer spending is hampering efforts to revive its business.

M&S is expected to report a second straight fall in annual profit on Wednesday, and with the retailer's shares down almost a quarter over the past year it is in danger of soon being booted out of the FTSE 100 index.

Pre-tax profits have fallen by more than two thirds to £66.8 million for high street giant Marks and Spencer.

British food-to-clothing retailer Marks and Spencer will shut more than 100 "underperforming" United Kingdom stores in an ongoing restructuring, it said Tuesday.

That was ahead of analysts' average forecast of 573 million pounds but down from 613.8 million pounds made in 2016-17.

M&S profits plunge 62pc amid sweeping store closure plans

Chief executive Steve Rowe said the charge was linked to M&S' overhaul plan, which was focused on "restoring the basics" and transforming the firm's culture towards a "a faster, lower cost, more commercial, more digital business". "Accelerated change is the only option", M&S said in a statement.

Revenue at M&S's food business rose 3.9% to £5.87bn as the company opened more stores but sales at established outlets fell 0.3%.

That compared with profit after taxation of 117.1 million pounds a year earlier.

They added: "Other key areas of focus are likely to be the performance of the new Robinson's range extension, an update on the progress of the USA multi-pack Fruit Shoot penetration, the implications for H2 margins (if any) in light of recent moves in input costs, namely PET, aluminium and sugar and finally its view of the consolidation in the United Kingdom grocery retail market".

"Whilst we think that it is too early for the full impact of the Sugar Tax, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, to be fully realised we will look for comments around the initial implementation and feedback from customers", its analysts said in a note earlier this month.

And Toys R Us, electricals group Maplin and drinks wholesaler Conviviality have all collapsed this year.

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