Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) is scrapping its trading update provided alongside the group's shareholder meeting, WebFG News reports. The retailer’s annual general meeting (AGM) tomorrow will be the first under chairman Archie Norman and new chief financial officer Humphrey Singer.
Marks & Spencer’s share price has climbed higher in today’s session, having gained 1.76 percent to 312.70p as of 14:28 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.23 percent higher at 7,635.41 points.
M&S to scrap AGM update
WebFG News reported today that M&S had told analysts not to expect a first-quarter trading update alongside its AGM tomorrow. The retailer’s next formal report is expected to be the interim results in November.
The newswire quoted independent retail analyst Nick Bubb as commenting that if the excuse had been that the new chief financial officer Humphrey Singer wanted time to get his feet under the desk, “the City might have swallowed this,” however, “in response to protests from disbelieving analysts, M&S merely said that management are focused on ‘the long-term transformation plan’ and that most investors are not interested in ‘short-term noise’”.
Bubb added that in his experience, it was “not a good sign when companies get arrogant like this”.
‘Relatively unusual’ move
Proactive Investors meanwhile quoted Shore Capital analyst Clive Black was commenting that it was ‘relatively unusual’ for a company not to provide a trading statement at its AGM but that the high street retailer was not required to do so.
“Supporters of management and strategy are going to have to be patient in our view,” the analyst pointed out. ShoreCap forecasts pre-tax profit of £544 million in 2019, compared to the current consensus estimate of £547 million.