Marks & Spencer warns on profit
Marks & Spencer has warned that trading over the next nine to 12 months in its clothing and home and international businesses is likely to be severely affected by the coronavirus crisis.
As a result, the company has warned that its full year profit may fall below the bottom end of expectations of between £440 million and £460 million.
The company said sales have already declined substantially within the clothing and homewares category so a significant number of staff from the business are likely to be redeployed within its food business.
Looking ahead, M&S said it was early too early to give a reasonable forecast for revenues in the next financial year. However, it is planning on the basis that there might be a prolonged downturn in demand for clothing and home items. It also said that it might have to close some stores temporarily.
M&S said: “While there are many uncertainties, we expect to come through this period in a strengthened competitive position. We have a strong food business and can balance activity between our operations under the single M&S brand. We have a well-developed online proposition in clothing and home and a 50% shareholding in Ocado Retail, the UK’s fastest growing pure play online retailer. M&S is a strongly cash generative business and has access to very substantial facilities and liquidity.”
Photo by Georgia Hawkins
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