M&S shares soar as first-half revenue smashes forecasts By Reuters


© Reuters. Denims are seen on the market at Marks and Spencer, Hempstead Valley department on the quickly to be opened garments department of the shop in Gillingham, Britain, June 1, 2020. Image taken June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Picture


By James Davey

LONDON (Reuters) – Marks & Spencer (OTC:) (M&S) expects full-year revenue to leap greater than 30% after an overhaul of its meals, style and provide chain helped the British retailer smash first-half forecasts, sending its shares hovering on Wednesday.

First-half revenue jumped 75%, the dividend was reinstated as promised, and the corporate stated customers had been already snapping up its Christmas ranges.

The outcomes present M&S, one of many largest names in British enterprise, is lastly reaping the rewards of an costly funding programme to enhance the standard and worth of its clothes and meals, improve its know-how and e-commerce operations, and radically overhaul its retailer property.

It now expects analysts’ consensus forecast for annual revenue to rise to 640 million kilos ($785 million) from 575 million kilos at the moment, versus 482 million kilos in 2022/23.

“One other very sturdy set of outcomes which demonstrates that the technique to re-shape the enterprise is de facto beginning to ship,” Ian Lance, fund supervisor at Redwheel, certainly one of M&S’s largest shareholders, informed Reuters.

Different buyers agree. After greater than a decade of failed turnaround efforts, the share value has greater than doubled over the past 12 months. It rose 10% on Wednesday, giving M&S a market valuation of just below 5 billion kilos.

The 139-year group, led by CEO Stuart Machin, stated its buying and selling momentum had been maintained by way of October and it was planning for Christmas, with clients already responding positively to its ranges.

It stated investments in its provide chain, which have enabled it to supply widespread clothes types extra shortly, had led to a rise within the volumes it bought, plus an enchancment in its profitability.

It did warn, nevertheless, that with a lot uncertainty on the financial horizon, from the very best rates of interest in 20 years to geopolitical occasions and erratic climate, it may see pressures develop within the second half of the 12 months.

M&S reported revenue of 360.2 million kilos for the six months to Sept. 30, versus analysts’ common forecast of 276 million.

Income rose 10.8% to six.13 billion kilos because it received market share in each of its divisions. Meals gross sales had been up 14.7%, whereas clothes and residential gross sales elevated 5.7%.

As flagged in Might, M&S restored its dividend with a 1 pence interim payout, its first since 2019/20.

Peel Hunt analysts stated there might be extra to come back: “The shares have completed properly however had been absolutely not discounting a beat of this magnitude.”

($1 = 0.8149 kilos)

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