Fourth quarter trading figures are weak but cost savings appear to have saved the day, with no change to full year expectations… For 2013 we have the first guidance – net this is negative, with cost growth worst than our forecast. The only good news is the downgraded capex guidance. Overall, however, this is a disappointing statement, and we place our forecasts, target price and rating under review.
Fourth quarter trading looks slightly disappointing, with general merchandise and international sales falling behind expectations… This quarter is also likely to remain subdued given the tough Easter comparatives. Once again, cost efficiencies will underpin market forecasts. Looking to 2013, guidance is broadly in keeping with current assumptions, although a lower capex on store update should be taken well.
Marks & Spencer has posted fourth quarter trading light of expectations. Food put in a solid performance in a competitive market and against tough comparatives while general merchandise suffered from the planned exit from technology. Although further cost saves will see the group reach full year expectations, with guidance fleshed-out, we lower our March 2013 forecast by three per cent.