M&S to unveil profit drop as chief executive Steve Rowe ploughs on with turnaround effort

Helen Cahill
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Marks And Spencer Expected To Re-structure Their Core Business
The retailer will deliver its first-half results on Wednesday (Source: Getty)

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is expected to reveal a fall in profits this week as the retailer moves forward with its turnaround plan.

Investec is expecting profit before tax to fall 12 per cent to £203m in the first half due to weak sales and the negative impact of currency movements.

At the retail chain's annual general meeting, M&S chief executive Steve Rowe promised he would bring the business' clothing sales back into positive territory. The retailer has been cutting down on discounts and improving its product range, but in July the firm posted a like-for-like sales fall of 1.2 per cent in its clothing and home division.

Closing stores is another key aspect of Rowe's turnaround strategy, with reports suggesting he could announce more closures this week. M&S has also been exiting foreign markets to crack down on costs; last year, management closed M&S' flagship store in Paris.

"It is early days in Mr Rowe's five-year rejuvenation strategy, with the benefits back-ended," said Investec analyst Kate Calvert. "M&S is playing catch-up in a difficult mid-market position. The shares are unlikely to perform until evidence of a sustainable recovery is seen."

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