Cost cutting expected to bite in falling M&S profits

Slipping sales will reflect the impact of a five-year restructuring programme at Marks & Spencer. Picture: Tolga Akmen/Getty Images
Slipping sales will reflect the impact of a five-year restructuring programme at Marks & Spencer. Picture: Tolga Akmen/Getty Images
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Marks & Spencer is likely to suffer fresh pain this week as the high street stalwart’s clothing and food divisions come under pressure amid a major restructuring.

The retail giant is tipped by City analysts to book a fall in underlying pre-tax profit of as much as 14 per cent to £188 million for the first half of the year. Consensus forecasts point to a figure of just over £200m, against £219.1m in the same period last year.

Slipping sales will reflect the impact of a five-year restructuring programme, which is being spearheaded by M&S chairman Archie Norman and chief executive Steve Rowe.

The pair are seeking to save costs through store closures and shutting distribution centres as part of a wide-ranging efficiency drive as financial performance continues to flag.

M&S said in May it would shut some 100 clothing and home outlets by 2022 as it accelerates the programme – putting thousands of jobs at risk.