First 6 months
First 12 months
Term of office
Source: Thomson Reuters Datastream
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, comments:
“Investors clearly want to see more than gimmicks like buybacks and special dividends if they are to show interest in a stock which is trading at May 1992 levels.
“Operational performance still is not good enough. The rate of decline in like-for-like sales at Clothing & Home improved but a 2.9% year-on-year drop was still the sixth in a row and the eighteenth in the past twenty-two quarters.. A 0.9% drop in Food and meagre 0.4% increase at M&s.com show there is much to do.
“However, Rowe is clearly aware of this and has outlined a vigorous restructuring plan:
“The International business will be run on a franchise basis, which lowers cost and risk, in a bid to eliminate £45 million in annual losses. This shift, which brings M&S into line with chains that trade well overseas, like TopShop, reduces staff costs, brings in local managers who know their markets better, helps volumes and reduces markdown.
“On the domestic front a quarter of Clothing & Home space will be repositioned, presumably toward food, albeit at a three-year cost of £150 million over three years. M&S is also cutting both capital investment and marketing expense.
“Cost-cutting will help to support earnings forecasts but this will only take M&S so far. To truly revive profits the company must get Clothing & Home right and it is currently hard to argue that M&S has really found its fashion handwriting.”