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Marks & Spencer swings to loss after Covid-19 hit clothing and home sales

 Marks & Spencer has posted a £201.2 million pre-tax loss in the year to 27 March. This compares to a £67.2 million profit in the previous… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Marks & Spencer swings to loss after Covid-19 hit clothing and home sales

 Marks & Spencer has posted a £201.2 million pre-tax loss in the year to 27 March.

This compares to a £67.2 million profit in the previous year.

While like-for-like sales in M&S’s food category increased by 1.3% in the period, clothing and home like-for-likes fell by 31.5%. The retailer attributed the clothing and homewares decline to the impact of lockdowns on stores, a substantial change in its product mix, and difficulties in clearing stock.

Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, M&S said it put in a resilient performance and had also accelerated its transformation programme.

Steve Rowe, M&S chief executive, said: “By going further and faster in our transformation through the Never the Same Again programme, we moved beyond fixing the basics to forge a reshaped M&S. With the right team in place to accelerate change in the trading businesses and build a trajectory for future growth, we now have a clear line of sight on the path to make M&S special again. The transformation has moved to the next phase.”

Giving an update on more recent trading, M&S said sales in the first six weeks of the new financial year and since stores reopened after lockdown have been ahead of the comparable period two years ago with clothing and home sales increasing. However, international sales continue to be impacted by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, particularly in India.

M&S said its tie-up with Ocado delivered 43.7% revenue growth over the 52 weeks ended 28 February 2021 and contributed a share of net income of £78.4 million.

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