M&S Records First Ever Loss In 94 Years

M&S Records First Ever Loss In 94 Years

Marks & Spencer has recorded a financial loss for the first time in its 94 years as a public company after the coronavirus pandemic forced doors to close.

The high street giant fell to a £87.6million pre-tax loss in the 26-weeks to September 26, swinging from a £158.8million profit in the same period last year.

This comes after the chain axed 7,000 jobs in August as part of a new transformation in the wake of the pandemic.

The clothing and home division saw sales dive 40.8% over the half-year, with a 21.3% decline in the second quarter as it benefited from the reopening of stores and strong online sales growth.

Chief executive Steve Rowe told investors: “In a year when it has become impossible to forecast with any degree of accuracy, our performance has been much more robust than at first seemed possible.

“This reflects the resilience of our business and the incredible efforts of my M&S colleagues, who have been quite simply outstanding. But out of adversity comes opportunity and, through our Never The Same Again programme, we have brought forward three years’ change in one to become a leaner, faster and more digital business.”

“From launching M&S Food online with Ocado, to establishing an integrated online business division, ‘MS2’, to step-change growth, we are taking the right actions to come through the crisis stronger and set up to win in the new world.”

The update came as M&S continues to push forward with its Never The Same Again transformation programme.