Marks & Spencer Shows Pain Of Latest Turnaround With 10% Profit Fall

By Donna Ahern
Marks & Spencer Shows Pain Of Latest Turnaround With 10% Profit Fall

Marks & Spencer has reported a 10% fall in full-year profit, a third straight decline, which along with falls in quarterly underlying sales of both clothing and food, shows the pain of its latest attempt at a multi-year turnaround.

Despite the profit fall M&S said on Wednesday its "transformation plan" was on track and it said the pace of change will accelerate in its new financial year.

Pretax Profit

The group, one of the best known names in British retail, made a pretax profit before one off items of £523.2 million (€594.6 billion) in the year to 31 March.

That was slightly better than analysts' average forecast of £519 million but down from £580.9 million made in 2017-18. A decade ago M&S made a profit of £1 billion.

Clothing & home like-for-like sales fell 1.3% in M&S's fourth quarter, while food sales were down 1.5% on the same basis.


However, this year's later Easter impacted like-for like revenue in clothing & home by an estimated 0.4% and food by 1.9%.

Pace Of Change

The group, which said in May last year it was targeting sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years, said at this stage it is judging itself as much by the pace of change as by the trading outcomes.

“Whilst there are green shoots, we have not been consistent in our delivery in a number of areas of the business," said chief cxecutive Steve Rowe.

"M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career - substantial changes across the business to our processes, ranges and operations and this has constrained this year’s performance, particularly in clothing & home," he said.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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