Marks & Spencer steels City for tough road ahead

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HIGH street stalwart Marks & Spencer has delivered a rare profit rise but its new boss cautioned there is more pain to come as he tries to turnaround the group. 

Steve Rowe, who took over from Marc Bolland earlier this year, said an overhaul of the retailer to improve its clothing and home lines would “have an adverse effect on profit in the short term”. 

“We are, however, confident that our commitment to delivering the right product, price and service will help return clothing & home sales to growth,” he said. 

The company’s food range has enjoyed strong growth in recent years but its clothing sales have consistently disappointed investors.

Full year results today showed underlying profit before tax rose 4.3% for the 53 weeks ending 2 April to £689.6 million.

The group’s profit before tax fell 18.5% to £488.8 million owing to one-off costs like a £27 million store review.

M&s also kept shareholders happy by unveiling a £75 million special dividend. 

The group will also giving London shop workers a big pay rise to £9.65 but will move some of its defined benefit pensioners into a defined contribution scheme. 

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May 25, 2016 |
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