M&S Slides To First Loss As Coronavirus Hammers Clothes Gross sales

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LONDON: Britain’s Marks & Spencer reported the primary loss in its 94 years as a publicly listed firm after clothes gross sales had been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Probably the greatest identified names in UK retail stated on Wednesday that it made a pretax loss earlier than one-off gadgets of 17.4 million kilos ($22.6 million) within the 26 weeks to Sept. 26 – its first loss since itemizing its shares on the inventory market in 1926.

The end result was forward of analysts’ common forecast of a 59 million pound loss and in contrast with a revenue of 176 million kilos in the identical interval final yr.

Clothes and residential gross sales fell 21.3% within the second quarter after a first-quarter decline of 61.5%, broken by a three-month coronavirus lockdown within the spring and the impression of the virus on buyer demand.

All clothes retailers have been hit arduous by the coronavirus disaster. On Tuesday Primark reported a 63% fall in annual revenue and Subsequent final week forecast a 50% decline.

M&S reported first-half meals gross sales up 2.7% on a like-for-like foundation, with weak performances from shops in metropolis centres and transport hubs due to the federal government’s work-from-home directive, offset by a greater displaying from suburban shops.

The enterprise has additionally benefited from a tie-up with Ocado, giving the M&S meals operation an internet presence for the primary time.

M&S, the shares of which have fallen 57% this yr, stated that buying and selling within the first 4 weeks of the second half continued at comparable charges to the top of the second quarter, with clothes and homeware income down 21.5%, meals income up 3% and worldwide income up 7.4%.

The group cautioned that England’s new four-week lockdown, starting on Thursday, will hit clothes and homeware retailer gross sales and revenue.

($1 = 0.7705 kilos)

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