Marks & Spencer swings to a loss for the first time in almost a century

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
November 4, 2020
  • Marks & Spencer swings to a loss for the first time in almost a century.
  • The British multinational reports £4.09 billion of revenue in the first half.
  • The retailer’s board refrains from declaring a dividend on Wednesday.

In a report on Wednesday, Marks & Spencer Group plc (LON: MKS) said that it concluded the fiscal first half of the current year with a pre-tax loss. It was the first time in almost a century that the retailer turned into a loss-making business.

Shares of the company were reported about 2.5% up in premarket trading on Wednesday. At 94.82 pence per share, Marks & Spencer is now close to 55% down year to date in the stock market. It is still trading near its year to date low of 86 pence per share in late May. Confused about choosing a reliable stockbroker to trade online? Here’s a comparison of the top few to make selection easier for you.

Marks & Spencer reports £4.09 billion of revenue in H1

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In the first week of August, British online supermarket, Ocado completed its £750 million deal with M&S to turn its online grocery business into a joint venture.

Marks & Spencer said that it swung to £87.6 million of pre-tax loss in the six months that concluded on 26th September. In comparison, the British multinational had reported £158.8 million of profit in the same period last year.

In terms of revenue, Marks & Spencer registered £4.09 billion in fiscal H1 as compared to the year-ago figure of a higher £4.86 billion. The company’s board refrained from declaring a dividend on Wednesday, in a bid to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 crisis that has so far infected more than a million people in the United Kingdom and caused over 47 thousand deaths.

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Marks & Spencer’s statement on Tuesday

According to Marks & Spencer:

“There remains significant uncertainty regarding the near-term outlook in relation to both Coronavirus and Brexit. Trading in the first four weeks of the second half has continued at similar rates to the end of the second quarter, with food revenue up 3.0%, clothing and home revenue down 21.5%, and international revenue up 7.4%.”

The London-based retailer said in an announcement in August that it will cut another 7,000 jobs to shore up finances amidst the ongoing health crisis.

Marks & Spencer performed dovish in the stock market last year with an annual decline of close to 10%. At the time of writing, the British multinational retailer has a market cap of £1.90 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 78.