Marks & Spencer to accelerate change as profit falls 21%

(FILE) - Marks and Spencer clothes hangers at a store in central London. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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British retailer Marks & Spencer said on Wednesday it would accelerate its latest turnaround programme as it dealt with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis and reported a 21% fall in annual profit.

The firm said in the light of the prolonged partial or total lockdown envisaged in its Covid-19 scenario, it had taken action totalling about 1 billion pounds ($1.23 billion) relative to its original budget to reduce costs and manage cash.

M&S made a pretax profit before one-off items of 403 million pounds in its year to March 28, down from 512 million pounds in 2018-19.

The company said its £1bn of actions included £500m of planned cost reductions and an acceleration in the “re-shaping” of its stores.

The 2019/20 financial year was crucial as M&S closed dozens of under-performing stores and invested in digital systems to refocus its customer offering as it adapted to new ways of working as the lockdown began in March.

Via Reuters

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