Marks & Spencer share price slides as retailer reports ‘mixed’ quarter

Group sees weak clothing market while food sales continue to underperform

Marks & Spencer share price slides as retailer reports ‘mixed’ quarter

Shares in Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) have lost more than five percent in London this morning as the blue-chip retailer posted its results for the 13 weeks to December 30, revealing a drop in both its clothing and food sales. The results come after the company appointed a new chief financial officer this week, poaching Dixons Carphone’s (LON:DC) finance chief Humphrey Singer.

As of 09:48 GMT, Marks & Spencer’s share price had given up 5.68 percent to 305.60p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.04 percent lower at 7,745.08 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 10 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with more than a six-percent gain in the Footsie.

Marks & Spencer posts results

Marks & Spencer announced in a statement this morning that its group sales had fallen 0.1 percent to £3.17 billion in the 13 weeks to December 30, pressured by a drop in the group’s clothing division where sales fell 2.8 percent on a like-for-like basis. The retailer’s Food sales meanwhile came in 0.4 percent lower.

“M&S had a mixed quarter with better Christmas trading in both businesses going some way to offset a weak clothing market in October and ongoing underperformance in our Food like-for-like sales,” the group’s chief executive Steve Rowe commented in the statement, adding that the retailer’s guidance remained unchanged.

Analysts weigh in on update  

“While we expect 2018 to finally see some genuine signs of a turnaround in M&S’ womenswear business, the trading over Christmas was disappointing,” Bryan Roberts, global insight director at marketing firm TCC Global, commented, as quoted by the BBC. “A last-minute rush proved too little, too late to rescue the overall period.”

As of 10:01 GMT, Thursday, 11 January, Marks and Spencer Group Plc share price is 344.15p.

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