1% fall in profits for M&S

1% fall in profits for M&S

Retail giant Marks & Spencer today reported a 1% fall in annual profits to £705.9m for the year to March 31, the first drop in three years.

Marc Bolland is set to come under increased pressure from investors after the results.

Despite efforts to pull in customers with celebrity-laden advertising campaigns, featuring the likes of actresses Joanna Lumley and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and actor Ryan Reynolds, sales of general merchandise have fallen in the last year.

Mr Bolland, who is reportedly set to pocket a combined pay package of around £6m this year, has been told by analysts that sales targets he set in November 2010 may be too ambitious.

The squeeze on household incomes in the UK, where M&S has 700 stores, is likely to take some of the blame for the weaker performance, but a failure to keep up with its rivals in clothing, such as Next and Primark, is also at the root of its problems.

Nick Bubb, independent retail analyst, said: “In all, he has not delivered the sales he needs with his three-year target. The focus is on whether he will admit that the year has started badly.”

Mr Bolland is expected to step back from his goal to boost sales to between £11.2bn and £12.2bn by 2014 as the economic headwinds show no sign of abating.

The group has said its prospects look brighter as the Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 football championships and Olympics will play into its hands by giving cause for celebration over the summer.

It has also seen encouraging demand for new lines from model Twiggy and those seen in a new advert featuring singer and model Myleene Klass and former X-factor judge Dannii Minogue in which Gary Barlow sings the Beatles classic 'Here Comes The Sun'.

More in this Section

FBD digs its heels in on payment issue as Covid claim cases top 700FBD digs its heels in on payment issue as Covid claim cases top 700

Ryanair leads travel stock surge as holiday hotspots prepare to reopenRyanair leads travel stock surge as holiday hotspots prepare to reopen

Shares drive ahead amid hopes for lifting of Covid-19 global lock downsShares drive ahead amid hopes for lifting of Covid-19 global lock downs

France unveils €8bn plan to rescue ailing car industryFrance unveils €8bn plan to rescue ailing car industry


Lifestyle

The model mum took a coronavirus test in preparation for the procedure.Everything to know about breast implant removal, as Chrissy Teigen says she’s undergoing surgery

Cathal Coughlan is known for his part in Microdisney, but for many people his best output came with the harder-edged band he formed afterwards, writes Ed PowerB-Side the Leeside: The Fatima Mansions and the story of 'Viva Dead Ponies'

Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford recently released a new single ‘Mariana’ available to buy on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to Safe Ireland.Question of Taste: Singer-songwriter Emma Langford

These jammy thumbprint cookies are dangerously moreish.Jammy thumbprint cookies recipe

More From The Irish Examiner