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Posts tagged 'Marks and Spencer'
We are going to lay the blame for this — right up front — on the idiotic Financial Markets and Services Act. (Or at least the utterly dumb implementation of such by Lord Sants and colleagues.) The “markets abuse regime” has led us to…where do we start?
Okay, with this chump: Read more
Kate Bostock, the head of Marks and Spencer’s clothing and homewares business, is in advanced talks to become managing director at online retailer Asos, reports the FT, citing people familiar with the situation. Losing Ms Bostock, who is in charge of M&S’s general merchandise business, including its crucial clothing range, would be a blow to Marc Bolland, who has been chief executive of the high street bellwether for the past 18 months. Like many clothing retailers, M&S is already grappling with unseasonably warm weather and a fresh sharp fall in consumer confidence. The general merchandise business is the engine of the group’s profits. However the talks between Ms Bostock and Asos could yet fall apart, the FT’s sources said.
It’s a busy week for the UK retail sector, what with Next, John Lewis, Kingfisher and Kesa Electricals reporting results and the Office of National Statistics releasing its sales survey for August.
So FT Alphaville needs some expert help to tell us what it all means. Is the sector cheap? Are forecasts realistic? Will anyone buy Comet? Is Marc Bolland massively over-rated? To that end, we’ve secured the services of Tony Shiret for an hour or so on Thursday morning. Read more
Forcing companies to publish their greenhouse gas emissions – a pre-election promise by both coalition partners – could cost British business up to £6bn over the next decade, the government has claimed in an impact assessment study. But the FT reports that calculation has been questioned in a report by independent consultants working for the Aldersgate Group, which represents big green-leaning companies such as Microsoft, BT, PepsiCo and Marks and Spencer. The group fears that some ministers and officials will use the environment department’s upper figure – which they believe is far too high – to justify dropping the plans later in the autumn.
The Christmas reporting season for the retail sector is just getting into full swing, but already some trends are emerging.
Both Next Marks and Spencer have reported sales figures which impressed (in fact, M&S has reported the first quarterly underlying sales growth in the UK for the first time in more than two years) but both have seen their shares prices retreat. Read more
Marks and Spencer has filled one of the highest-profile jobs in UK retailing by poaching Marc Bolland, who revived Wm Morrison, the supermarket, as its new chief executive. The appointment ends the search for a successor to Sir Stuart Rose, who has been the dominant personality at M&S for five years and will remain chairman until July 2011. Shares in M&S rose 6% to 390p on the news but Morrison’s fell 5% to 280.9p. The combined £600m swing in the companies’ market values prompted some traders to label Bolland, who joins next year, the “$1bn man”.
Sir Stuart Rose, executive chairman of Marks and Spencer, has given up more than £1m of shares in the retailer in an effort to avert a showdown with some of its top shareholders in the run-up to its annual meeting. After talks with the Association of British Insurers, Sir Stuart, who has been criticised by investors over his combined role as both chairman and chief executive of M&S, has given up shares awarded under a long-term incentive plan worth about £1.16m at Monday’s closing price.
… a M&S dividend cut.
Now ordinarily, talk of a divi cut at M&S would be a mid-week market rumour we’d let pass us by. Especially since M&S shares closed up today, albeit by only 0.3 per cent. But we can’t let it go because we came across this… and we needed a reason to put it on the site.
Retailer Marks and Spencer issued an unexpected profits warning on Wednesday as Sir Stuart Rose, its executive chairman, warned that Britain faces the most severe consumer downturn since the 1990s. The trading update, combined with the failure of Taylor Wimpey, the UK’s largest housebuilder, to secure new finance sent the pound lower and deepened the gloom in financial markets. M&S said that like-for-like sales had fallen 5.3% in the quarter to June – indicating the economic slowdown was spreading to the consumer sector. Its shares lost about 25% to close at 240p on the news. The two announcements came after profits warnings this week from Trinity Mirror, the newspaper group, and car retailers Lookers and Pendragon.
Deal volumes may be in the doldrums, but that doesn’t mean the City’s finest can’t theorise.
Analysts at Credit Suisse issued a report on Friday arguing, over 112 pages, that while British fashion retailer Next has serious structural problems, the business has real strategic value and might attract a bid from its bigger rival, Marks & Spencer, at £20 a share or more.
An extract: Read more
Marks and Spencer suffered its worst day since Sir Stuart Rose took over as chief executive of the UK retailer in 2004 after a disappointing trading update triggered an 18% drop in its share price. M&S said like-for-like sales fell 2.2% in its fiscal third quarter to end-December. The news intensified investor worries over a slowdown on the high street in the face of a weakening economy and housing market. Sir Stuart said the sales decline was “25% self-inflicted and 75% the market”, with consumer confidence “the toughest I have seen in a decade”. Fears that the much-praised Rose turnround had run out of steam spurred analysts to cut their profit forecasts for this year and next. Many think the company will fail to make the £1bn in pretax profit in the year to end of March that looked almost certain a few months ago.