Marks & Spencer rocked by worst food sales for a decade

M&S said its recently launched womenswear collaboration with TV personality Holly Willoughby had been a hit with customers

Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe said he was facing the facts after its worst food sales in a decade.

He said management was 'turning every stone' to revive the business after it posted a 2.9 per cent drop in food, with purchases of clothing and homeware products down 1.1 per cent.

Revenues declined 3.1 per cent to just under £5billion, but profits edged up 7.1 per cent to £126.7million.

The disappointing sales put further pressure on M&S to speed up its transformation plan ahead of Christmas.

It is the first time since the second half of the 2008-09 financial year it has posted such poor food sales, when they fell 4.7 per cent.

Rowe admitted M&S's poor food performance was in part self-inflicted as it got rid of 'confusing' multi-buy offers and introduced bigger family pack sizes and lower prices. 

Just last week M&S prompted outrage among customers after it scrapped its famous £10 'Dine in for Two' meal deal, replacing it with a £12 version.

But Rowe said: 'We are turning every stone in the business over to make sure that we build a business fit for the future and that means there's an awful lot of work going on across every area,' he said.

'We're protecting the magic of M&S food, we believe it's the best on the High Street. But what we want to do is sharpen the value and that means we're bringing prices down and taking away confusing promotions.'

M&S has already cut prices on 100 Christmas lines in a bid to encourage more customers through its doors. One in four turkeys sold in the UK at Christmas are from M&S.

Like many other retailers, M&S has been hit by a downturn on the High Street and an onslaught from online-only firms such as Amazon and Asos. Its food division has also suffered from fierce competition posed by German discounters Lidl and Aldi.

M&S said its recently launched womenswear collaboration with TV personality Holly Willoughby had been a hit with customers, but it was too early to see the full impact. Its online business fared better, where sales were up 9.1 per cent.

One in five of every clothing and home purchase now made through its website though it does not have an online food delivery service.

M&S is closing 100 stores to save cash and drive more customers to its website, and intends to close more.

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November 08, 2018

Sources: Daily Mail

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    1 November 14, 2018
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    1 November 14, 2018
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    1 November 14, 2018
  • IMF delivers blistering report on Italy's economy

    IMF delivers blistering report on Italy's economy

    ition adopt a 'growth friendly' budget policy, putting it on a potential collision course with Brussels which is demanding greater austerity.</p><p>In a blistering critique of the performance of the third largest economy in the eurozone, the IMF noted that real incomes are at the levels of two decades ago, unemployment has been stuck at 10 per cent for the same period and emigration is near a five-year high.</p><p>The Fund's assertion that the Italian government's emphasis on growth and social inclusion is 'welcome' is bound to be seen as a provocation by the European Commission.</p><p> If the EC is not satisfied with a budget submitted by Italy's government – led by populist prime minister Giuseppe Conte – then disciplinary action could come as soon as this month</p><p>It is demanding Italy rewrite its budget to tackle more directly the deficit and government debt burdens.</p><p>The clash between Brussels and Rome has sent the borrowing cost on Italian bonds surging to levels last seen at the time of the crisis in the euro area in 2010.</p><p>The EC is threatening to impose swingeing penalties on Italy unless it conforms to European regulations. </p><p>If it is not satisfied with a budget submitted by Italy's government – led by populist prime minister Giuseppe Conte – then disciplinary action could come as soon as this month.</p><p>The more conciliatory tone towards Rome taken by the IMF reflects the view in Washington that Brussels is being too tough on the eurozone's weaker countries.</p><p>The Fund wants budget reforms that are inclusive but also support the goal of reducing Italy's national debt, which at 130 per cent of national output is the second highest in the euro area after Greece.</p><p>Europe's mounting financial problems were underlined by the European Central Bank which says the continent's top three investment banks, Germany's Deutsche, France's SocGen and BNP Paribas, need up to £9.6billion of new capital to make them safer.</p><p>Concerns about Italy have put downward pressure on the euro against the dollar in recent days. </p><p>But reports last night of a Brexit deal saw the euro rise by 0.53 per cent to $1.277.</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 November 14, 2018
  • Flybe share price soars as airline puts itself up for sale weeks after issuing profit warning

    Flybe share price soars as airline puts itself up for sale weeks after issuing profit warning

    cussions with a number of strategic operators about a potential sale of the company.'</p><p>The FTSE 250 listed company's share price has risen sharply this morning and is currently up 22.05 per cent or 2.58p to 14.28p.</p><p>Turbulent times: Budget UK-based airline Flybe has put itself up for sale, weeks after issuing a profit warning</p><p>Flybe told This is Money that there are no flight cancellations planned, adding that customers should not be concerned about any Flybe flight they have booked. </p><p>The airline said it was facing a number of 'challenges', including higher fuel prices, a weaker pound and uncertain demand. </p><p>On top of a potential sale, the airline said it was also reviewing other 'strategic options' in a bid to sort out its finances, including cutting flight capacity and costs. The airline also faces stiff competition from rivals including Ryanair and Easyjet </p><p>The alert sent shares tumbling by more than a third on the day and nearly 75 per cent has been wiped off its stock market value since December. </p><p>But Stobart, which already has a franchise agreement with Flybe, could reportedly come back into the frame.</p><p>Half-year results published today reveal that Flybe's pre-tax profits fell by 54 per cent to £7.4million, while revenues fell to 2.4 per cent to £419.2million. Underlying pre-tax profits rose from £9.2million to £9.9million.   </p><p>Data: FTSE-250 listed Flybe's share price charted over the last three years</p><p>Half-year results: Half-year results published today reveal that the airline's pre-tax profits fell by 54 per cent to £7.4million</p><p>Revenues fell by 10 per cent to £409.2million after the airline cut capacity by 9 per cent. Passenger numbers edged up 0.6 per cent to 5.2million.</p><p>A the end of September, the airline had 78 planes in its fleet, compared to the 80 it had in March.     </p><p>Chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener said the group continued to see improvements in the third quarte, adding that cost savings had already helped to drive progress in boosting profits.</p><p>But she added: 'There has been a recent softening in growth in the short-haul market, as well as continued headwinds from higher fuel and currency costs.</p><p>'We are responding to this by reviewing every aspect of our business, especially further capacity reduction, cash management and cost savings.' </p><p>Bankers at Evercore have been brought in to handle the talks about a potential deal. </p><p>Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said that while the higher fuel costs and weak pound had pushed FlyBe to the current situation, 'it has been for some time a zombie airline.'</p><p>He added: 'There are more of them and we see this as simply the latest domino to fall in the European short haul airline sector. There will be more to come, although some temporary reprieve perhaps if oil continues to fall'.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 November 14, 2018

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