‘Emerging from a chrysalis’: UK’s M&S promises surprise from reshaped business By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Clothes are displayed on hangers in an Marks & Spencer shop in northwest London, Britain July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

By James Davey

LONDON (Reuters) – British clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer (OTC:) is emerging from the COVID-19 crisis as a very different business that will surprise people with its financial performance, Chairman Archie Norman said on Tuesday.

Norman and Chief Executive Steve Rowe believe the pandemic has masked progress the 137-year-old group has made in its latest attempt at a turnaround after decades of failures.

They have focused on transforming the culture in M&S, improving the quality and value of its clothing and food products, while reshaping its store estate and investing in technology and e-commerce, including a venture with online supermarket Ocado (LON:).

“We sort of feel we’re emerging from the pandemic and lockdown, like emerging from a chrysalis, a new and reshaped business,” Norman told shareholders attending M&S’s annual general meeting, held virtually for a second successive year.

“We think we’re going to surprise a few people, not just hopefully with our financial performance but also with the things we do to demonstrate that M&S has really changed,” he said.

Norman, chairman since 2017, said the management had moved on from fixing the basics in the business.

“We’re now into a new phase and we’d like to think that new phase is about growth,” he said, adding this meant expanding sales and market share.

“We’re here to create a growing business, absolutely not in the business of managing decline, we’re investing for the future,” he said, adding the retailer was “very confident” about the year ahead.

In May, M&S reported an 88% slump in 2020-21 profit but forecast a rebound in 2021-22.

Shares in M&S closed down 2% at 154.4 pence, paring 2021 gains to 13% and valuing the business at 3 billion pounds ($4.1 billion).

($1 = 0.7259 pounds)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Most Related Links :
Business News Governmental News Finance News

Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.

[charitable_donation_form campaign_id=57167]

Source link

Back to top button