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Britain's M&S says must modernise urgently to survive
23 May 2018, 06:26 | Bernice Figueroa
M&S store closure costs result in 62% annual profit plunge
Marks & Spencer said on Wednesday it needs to modernise urgently to survive after a second straight annual profit fall and a 321 million pound charge for a store closure programme.
Revenue rose 0.7% to GBP10.70 billion for the year to March 31, up from GBP10.62 billion last year, but pretax profit dropped 62% to GBP66.8 million from GBP176.4 million.
The full-year results are slightly better than the City had feared but continue the longterm decline in profits that M&S has experienced from a decade ago, when it reported profits of £1 billion.
Shares in M&S were down 3 percent at 1017 GMT.
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.
By 2022, M&S will close more than 100 stores, including 21 that have already been closed and the 14 Clothing & Home stores that are set to close soon.
Sacha Berendji-the retail, operations and property director at M&S said that that they are making nice advancement with their plans of restructuring their store chains for making them more relevant to the customers and to assist the online growth plans.
"If anything the need for change has become more urgent".
GlobalData has forecast that its clothing market share will be 7.6% this year - nearly halving in two decades - despite opening more stores selling clothing, homewares and food under the one roof. It had meant to open 40 stores this financial year, but has cut that number to 25.
He added: "There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these".
"Alongside relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, these closures will radically reshape M&S's clothing and home space", the firm said.
"The new organisation will largely be in place by July and the team is now tackling transforming our culture to make M&S a faster, lower cost, more commercial, more digital business".
"M&S is now teetering on the edge of relegation from the FTSE 100 in the quarterly reshuffle next week", said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Rowe said it was targeting sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years time.
Liberum maintained a "sell" rating on the stock, saying the full year results "leave us unable to see any evidence yet of progress on the transformation strategy".
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