M&S profits slump on store closure costs

M&S profits slump on store closure costs

M&S profits slump on store closure costs

M&S said it made a pretax profit before one-off items of 580.9 million pounds ($778.6 million) in the year to March 31, particularly hurt by a decrease in the food gross margin.

Excluding the charges, profits before tax slipped 5.4 per cent to £580.9 million on revenue that rose slightly to almost £10.7 billion in the year to March 31.

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.

"In the previous year traditional retailers like Marks have faced a ideal storm of rising costs, a constrained consumer, and the relentless growth of online competition".

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

As of the end of March, the retailer had 1,035 United Kingdom stores, made up of 300 clothing, home and food stores, 696 food-only stores and 39 outlets.

M&S profits slump on store closure costs

"The business.is starting to make decisions that have arguably been needed for many years", said Shore Capital analyst Clive Black, who has a "hold" stance on M&S. Like-for-like revenue dropped 1.9% as M&S scrapped two clearance sales but full-price sales were stable.

"These, together with a challenging United Kingdom consumer market, mean that we have to modernise our business to ensure we are competitive and reignite our culture", it said.

"We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans", said Sacha Berendji, M&S retail, operations and property director.

Marks & Spencer has been condemned to a second straight year of falling profits after the high street giant racked up a huge bill for store closures, as it prepares to shut 100 shops over the next four years and faces relegation from the blue chip FTSE 100 index. M&S has managed to reduce costs by at least 350 million pounds and created a platform for growth.

In addition to the accelerated store overhaul, M&S is improving its website and investing to increase its e-commerce capacity.

"There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these", said chief executive Steve Rowe.

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