M&S store closure costs result in 62% annual profit plunge

M&S store closure costs result in 62% annual profit plunge

M&S store closure costs result in 62% annual profit plunge

Profit before tax at Marks and Spencer (M&S) plummeted 62.1 per cent to £66.8 million last year from £176.4 million the year before, the company's full year results show.

At M&S's clothing business, which has failed to keep up with trends for many years, revenue fell 1.4% to £3.74bn.

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

"This latest wave of closures will feel like a body blow to locations that are already under pressure" says the BBC's Emma Simpson, "but the hard truth is that M&S has more stores than it needs, given our changing shopping habits" and many experts believe that closing a large swathe of stores "is a tough but necessary step".

He said: "At our half-year results in November I outlined the need for accelerated change at M&S".

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 U.S. 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".

Currently, around 18 percent of M&S' clothing and home sales are made online.

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"These changes come with short-term costs which are reflected in today's results".

"We have to modernise our business to ensure we are competitive and reignite our culture".

Marks & Spencer revealed that the first phase of its transformation plan is focused on restoring the basics and getting its infrastructure fit for the future, a programme that is now underway.

M&S also said 15 fewer company-owned Simply Food stores would open this year.

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

The British retailer has extended its closure plans as it is focusing on a minimum of a third of its sales online, as per the statement made by the high-street chain.

"This is vital as we start to leverage the strength of the M&S brand and values across a family of businesses to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years".

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