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Marks & Spencer share price rallies even as retailer’s profits tumble

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Shares in Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) have jumped in London this morning, even as the blue-chip retailer revealed a hefty slump in full-year profits, reflecting costs related to its transformation programme. The company further updated investors on its ongoing shake-up, noting that the first phase of its transformation programme was ‘well underway’.

As of 08:35 BST, Marks & Spencer’s share price had added 5.18 percent to 306.91p. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped into the red and currently standing 0.56 percent lower at 7,833.17 points.

M&S posts results

Marks & Spencer said in a statement this morning that its profit before tax had slumped 62.1 percent to £66.8 million in the 52 weeks ended March 31. After-tax profit meanwhile came in 74.8 percent lower at £29.1 million. The blue-chip retailer’s revenue inched 0.7 percent higher to £10.7 billion, and the company maintained its payout to shareholders at 18.7p per share.

The update comes after the retailer announced the next tranche of UK stores proposed for closure yesterday, noting that it would now close over 100 stores in total by 2022.

Shake-up continues

The company further updated investors on its transformation programme today, with chief executive Steve Rowe saying that the first phase of the plan, dubbed ‘restoring the basics,’ was ‘well underway’.

“There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these. The new organisation will largely be in place by July and the team is now tackling transforming our culture to make M&S a faster, lower cost, more commercial, more digital business,” Rowe added.

Richard Lim, the chief executive of Retail Economics, told the Guardian that “M&S has too much space in today’s digitally driven age of consumption,” adding that those were “bold decisions to embrace, adapt and innovate in order to survive”.

As of 09:08 BST, Wednesday, 23 May, Marks and Spencer Group Plc share price is 306.20p.

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