Marks & Spencer Profit Drops Amid "Structural Issues"

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Marks & Spencer (M&S), one of the best known names in United Kingdom retail, first said it would reduce the amount of store space devoted to clothing and homewares in 2016, shortly after company lifer Steve Rowe became chief executive.

M&S reset its strategy in November, two months after retail veteran Archie Norman joined as chairman, detailing a five-year programme of store closures and relocations, and moves to make its misfiring food business more competitive. This is said to be a result of M&S's successful exit of loss-making owned markets and favourable currency effects.

Worldwide sales fell 7.9 percent to 1,087.2 million pounds during the year while global profit before adjusting items more than doubled to 135.2 million pounds.

M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, made a pretax profit before one off items of £580.9m in the year to March 31.

Shares in Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) have jumped in London this morning, even as the blue-chip retailer revealed a hefty slump in full-year profits, reflecting costs related to its transformation programme.

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.

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Food revenue grew 3.9% - though like-for-like revenue slipped just 0.3% - while Clothing & Home revenue fell 1.4% and was down 1.9% on a like-for-like basis.

M&S is expected to announce a second consecutive year of declining profits when it releases its sales figures for the year later today.

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

"There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these", Mr Rowe added.

"Changes in the high street and migration online mean that we have to be decisive with our store estate, renewing and closing stores more quickly". In both businesses we need to revitalise our ranges and reassert our reputation for value for money.

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