Marks & Spencer share price: Retailer offloads Hong Kong and Macau stores

Move comes as group continues with overseas markets retreat

Marks & Spencer share price: Retailer offloads Hong Kong and Macau stores

Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) has sold its stores in Hong Kong and Macau, the blue-chip company has said. The move comes as the FTSE 100 retailer continues with its retreat from overseas markets, as part of its chief executive Steve Rowe’s turnaround plan.

Marks & Spencer’s share price has reacted positively to the news this morning, having added 0.32 percent to 315.80p as of 09:25 GMT. The shares are outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into negative territory and currently standing 0.29 percent lower at 7,665.15 points.

M&S sells Hong Kong and Macau stores

Marks & Spencer announced in a statement this morning that it had sold its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau to franchise partner Al-Futtaim. The sale, which completed on December 30, sees Al-Futtaim become the new sole franchisee for M&S in Hong Kong and Macau. 

“We have substantially reshaped our International business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth,” Paul Friston, the UK group’s international director, commented in the statement. The sale comes as Steve Rowe continues with his efforts to turn around the M&S’ fortunes by restructuring the blue-chip retailer and reviving its underperforming clothing business. 

M&S opened talks with Al-Futtaim in August last year, noting at the time that the negotiations included a period of due diligence, expected to take several months to complete.

Ratings update

Deutsche Bank reiterated its ‘hold’ rating on M&S today, valuing the shares at 335p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip retailer currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 358.91p.

Marks & Spencer is scheduled to update investors on its third-quarter performance on January 11.

As of 09:51 GMT, Tuesday, 02 January, Marks and Spencer Group Plc share price is 315.79p.

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