MKS.L - Marks and Spencer Group plc

LSE - LSE Delayed Price. Currency in GBp
+2.95 (+1.60%)
At close: 4:35PM GMT
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Previous Close184.10
Bid187.20 x 0
Ask187.30 x 0
Day's Range183.29 - 189.00
52 Week Range161.35 - 306.20
Avg. Volume10,714,224
Market Cap3.648B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.83
PE Ratio (TTM)37.41
EPS (TTM)5.00
Earnings DateNov 06, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield0.11 (5.98%)
Ex-Dividend DateNov 14, 2019
1y Target Est294.84

    Breaking: U.K. Retail Sales Disappoint; Sterling Weakens

    U.K. retail sales disappointed again in December dropping 0.6%, adding further force to arguments for an interest rate cut from the Bank of England at the end of the month.

  • European stocks rise but close just short of record

    European stocks rise but close just short of record

    European stocks on Thursday were on track to reach a record high, as concerns over Iran and China fade into the background.

  • Horrid Holidays Can't All Be Blamed on Brexit

    Horrid Holidays Can't All Be Blamed on Brexit

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Christmas 2019 should be consigned to the dustbin along with the crumpled wrapping paper and the wilted tree. That’s the message that has come in loud and clear from British retailers. And it caps off a miserable year. Total sales for 2019 fell by 0.1%, the worst year on record, according to the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.There’s no doubt consumers were cautious in the run-up to the holidays. But store groups can’t blame it all on Brexit. There were some own goals, too.Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc missed the halo effect from Black Friday by reining in promotions right as shoppers sought deals during the U.S-imported retail frenzy. Marks & Spencer Group Plc also hasn’t participated for the past few years. While it’s the right instinct to protect against diluting margins ahead of the holiday season, going too far to do so is painful too.John Lewis Partnership Plc warned that its profit would be “significantly lower” than a year ago, and parted company with the head of its department-store arm, Paula Nickolds. It’s hard not to think the privately held company’s challenges have been made worse by some of its own decisions, such as blindly sticking to its pledge to always be cheaper than rivals. Times have changed since the promise was made many years ago, and it’s become untenable in a market characterized by intense and constant discounting.But perhaps the performance by M&S is the most disappointing. After seeing some positive signs in women’s wear, it made a fashion faux pas in men’s clothing by getting too trendy for many of its customers. Its range of more contemporary, slim fitting shirts and suits weren’t on trend with its predominantly older shopper base, and it simply stocked too many small sizes than was reasonable.The high street stalwart also didn’t have the right Christmas gifts, having gone down market just as consumers were seeking more expensive items, such as cashmere sweaters, and more experiential gifts such as spa days. Consequently, M&S’s like-for-like sales in clothing and home furnishings fell 1.7% in the third quarter, worse than the consensus of analysts’ expectations for a 0.8% decline.The performance is particularly disappointing given that many of M&S’s key competitors, including Debenhams Plc, John Lewis department stores, Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser and Philip Green’s Arcadia, are not firing on all cylinders. And the self-inflicted damage wasn’t confined to clothing. Although demand for M&S’s Christmas food was strong, it wasn’t as pronounced as it had hoped. It misread the market, buying too much festive fare to make sure it had enough available and wound up with far too many leftovers once the holidays came to an end. Consequently, gross margins are expected to be at the lower end of expectations.The shares fell as much as 11.6%. It isn’t the first time M&S has messed up at Christmas. In the past, it suffered from problems at a key distribution center at Castle Donington in central England. This year that facility held up, but the new round of blunders is worrying. In contrast, other groups that have been operating quietly without hiccups, such as Tesco Plc, Greggs Plc and discount home-furnishings retailer Dunelm Group Plc, delivered solid performances. It will also be worth watching out for Associated British Foods Plc, which should have benefited from Primark’s strong selection of gifts and party dresses in the run up to the holiday.With any Boris bounce after the U.K. election proving elusive, 2020 is set to remain tough. The lesson from this Christmas trading season is that to prosper, retailers need to stick to their knitting, and ensure that their own actions don’t make an already difficult backdrop even worse.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • M&S Plunge Provides Reality Check After Stock’s False Dawn

    M&S Plunge Provides Reality Check After Stock’s False Dawn

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Thursday’s tumble in Marks & Spencer Group Plc shares served as a reminder that the U.K. retailer needs to show more improvement in its turnaround to justify a flurry of analyst upgrades in recent months.The stock fell as much as 12%, the most since February 2019, and was the worst performer in the FTSE 350 General Retailers Index after holiday sales at its long-struggling clothing & home unit came in weaker than consensus estimates and the company pointed to gross margins around the lower end of its guidance.The slump comes hot on the heels of the stock’s best quarterly performance in five years. M&S shares jumped 16% in the last three months of 2019 after at least five analysts raised their recommendations following first-half earnings that showed improved clothing sales in October. The prospect of a brighter outlook for U.K. consumers after the Conservative Party’s election win in December also helped boost sentiment.Yet the stock still ended 2019 with a decline of 9.7%, a fifth straight annual drop that has reduced the company’s market value by more than half and seen M&S demoted from the FTSE 100 Index for the first time.“Today’s update is a reminder that bottom-up challenges may water down the benefit from an increasingly positive macro picture,” said James Grzinic, a Jefferies analyst with a hold rating on the shares.To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Pham in London at lpham14@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Beth Mellor at, Paul JarvisFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Food waste and too much skinny menswear spoil M&S's Christmas

    Food waste and too much skinny menswear spoil M&S's Christmas

    Higher food waste and weak sales of menswear and gifts tarnished Marks & Spencer's (M&S) Christmas performance, hammering the British retailer's shares and raising more questions about its latest turnaround attempt. M&S said on Thursday that while sales volumes in food increased, it also experienced higher waste levels. The group said its gifting performance was hit by "unprecedented discounting" in the UK clothing market between Black Friday and Christmas.

  • M&S and John Lewis Join Other U.K. Retailers in Christmas Doldrums

    M&S and John Lewis Join Other U.K. Retailers in Christmas Doldrums

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.U.K. retailers’ holiday sales were hit by brutal price pressure and the shift to e-commerce, rounding out their worst year on record.Marks & Spencer Group Plc, Tesco Plc and John Lewis Partnership Plc provided further evidence of the tough climate facing the country’s department stores and supermarkets with generally downbeat Christmas sales updates.The latest reports confirm fears that U.K. retailers would suffer as discounters, the rise of online shopping and political turmoil took their toll. The British Retail Consortium, a trade group, said the 0.1% drop in the industry’s revenue in 2019 was the worst performance it has recorded.M&S shares fell as much as 11% after it said gross margins will be around the lower end of its guidance for the year after holiday sales at the long-struggling clothing and home unit were weaker than the consensus.Tesco’s revenue dropped on a comparable basis as a weaker performance in central Europe masked growth in the U.K. that came ahead of expectations.John Lewis warned that it might not pay a bonus to its employee-owners after a drop in revenue. Paula Nickolds, the managing director of its department store division, is leaving.Marks & Spencer stock has lost more than half its value after dropping in each of the past five years. Menswear and lower gift sales held back the company’s clothing unit.M&S has been trying to turn around its business for the past decade, and its latest efforts are being led by Chairman Archie Norman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Rowe. Rowe said the weakness in Christmas sales was largely due to one-time issues such as the menswear performance and waste in the food unit.Looking to Future“The changes we made earlier in the year in clothing have arrested the worst of the issues of the first six months and we are progressively building a much stronger team for the future,” he said in a statement.Food performed better at Marks & Spencer, helped by investments in the product range and price cuts.Grocers Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc and J Sainsbury Plc gave trading updates earlier this week. While Morrison acknowledged that its lackluster sales were partly its own fault -- it failed to take part in Black Friday sales this year -- Sainsbury’s performance was fairly robust. Next Plc, the first U.K. retailer to update the market last week, also beat market expectations.The departure of Nickolds at John Lewis follows that retailer’s decision announced in June to name U.K. former telecom regulator Sharon White as its next chairman. The company’s department-store operations have been hit especially hard by the growth of Inc. and other online retailers.“Paula and I have discussed where we are and we have agreed this is the right time for her to move on and we have reached that decision together,” departing Chairman Charlie Mayfield said on a call.Profit for the year will be “substantially lower,” Mayfield said, after a 56% plunge in the 12 months ended Jan. 26, 2019. Scrapping the vaunted staff bonus would be an important symbolic blow after the company had clung to small payouts in recent years even as earnings weakened.Tesco GainsTesco rose as much as 2.1% in London. Bruno Monteyne, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, called the chain’s U.K. results a “material outperformance” compared to rivals. Still, the company only eked out 0.1% growth in Britain over Christmas.“In a subdued U.K. market, we performed well, delivering our fifth consecutive Christmas of growth,” said Tesco CEO Dave Lewis, who will be leaving the grocer this year.(Updates with BRC comment in third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Deirdre Hipwell in London at dhipwell@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Eric Pfanner at, Thomas Mulier, Anne PollakFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Marks and Spencer fails to build on signs of recovery

    Shares in UK retailer Marks and Spencer fell by more than 7 per cent on Thursday after results showing it had failed to build on signs of a recovery in its clothing business and high levels of waste hit margins in food sales. M&S has simplified its food ranges and abandoned promotions in favour of lowering prices.

  • Financial Times

    John Lewis needs to sound and act differently to a retail plc

    What does this update from the John Lewis Partnership sound like? “Profits will be substantially down on last year . . . Last October, we announced bold changes . . .  integrates the teams . . . under ...


    Top 5 Things to Watch on Thursday Jan. 9 - Crisis, what crisis? Markets look to have turned a new page after comments from U.S. President Donald Trump overnight seemed to point to an end to the rising U.S.-Iran tensions. U.S. stock futures are pointing to a higher open on Wall Street, continuing Wednesday’s gains which saw the Nasdaq notch a record close. Oil prices remain firm after a surprise build in weekly crude supplies, but gold has fallen back sharply from its elevated levels. Here’s what you need to know to start your day

  • European stocks rise for first time in three sessions

    European stocks rise for first time in three sessions

    European stocks rose on Tuesday for the first time in three sessions, as traders began to de-emphasize U.S.-Iran tensions.

  • Financial Times

    Morrisons supermarket chain hit by drop in group sales

    Wm Morrison revealed a fall in group sales in the second half of the year as the latest industry data suggested most food retailers had endured difficult conditions in the festive trading period. The Bradford-based supermarket chain said group sales were down 1.7 per cent on a same-store basis in the 22 weeks to January 5. It did not provide figures for the Christmas period in isolation, but house broker Shore Capital estimated sales fell 2.5 per cent, against the 3.6 per cent growth reported in the equivalent period last year.

  • M&S names former Tesco executive as interim finance chief

    M&S names former Tesco executive as interim finance chief

    British retailer Marks & Spencer on Friday named former Tesco executive David Surdeau as its interim chief financial officer, temporarily filling a void left by the departure of Humphrey Singer. Surdeau, who spent 15 years at Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, in various finance roles, will start on Jan. 7 and report into group chief executive Steve Rowe. Singer left M&S on Dec. 31.

  • Read This Before Judging Marks and Spencer Group plc's (LON:MKS) ROE
    Simply Wall St.

    Read This Before Judging Marks and Spencer Group plc's (LON:MKS) ROE

    Many investors are still learning about the various metrics that can be useful when analysing a stock. This article is...


    European Stocks Hint at a Record After an Extended Holiday Break

    The Stoxx Europe 600 is ready to join Wall Street indexes with a record of its own. Equities are climbing on the first day back from the holiday.

  • Boris Bounce Won’t Save Christmas for British Retailers

    Boris Bounce Won’t Save Christmas for British Retailers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Brits haven’t felt very much like shopping this year, and understandably so. There’s been political gridlock and upheaval, the repeated threat of a hard Brexit and an election in December for the first time since 1923. No wonder despite strong employment, and wage growth outpacing inflation, U.K. consumers have been acting as if they’re in a recession.As a result, Britain’s army of shoppers have been choosing more classic colors such as black, navy, gray and camel rather than trendy shades at high-street stalwart Marks & Spencer Group Plc. Families have put off buying new fridges and dishwashers until their old appliances broke down. And they’ve turned to discounters Aldi and Lidl when, in spite of it all, they wanted to start preparing for Christmas by filling their shopping carts with panettone and children’s toys. Even with a lift from the Black Friday frenzy, this has all added up to weak non-food sales,  and sluggish demand at the big supermarkets.Against this background, the general election result can only be reassuring: a hard Brexit has likely been shelved and affluent shoppers can breathe a sigh of relief that they won’t face a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. This should all bode well for trading over the coming weeks, the conclusion of the so-called Golden Quarter that captures the run up to the holidays and the merrymaking as well. There is now only one weekend left before Christmas. Last week was likely a slow one in malls and on high streets with the pending election and heavy rain. If the weather is good — cold crisp conditions are best — then shoppers could come out in force for last minute gifts.This upswing may come too late for some store groups. Black Friday sucked spending into November, so that may mean there is less pent-up demand to be released in December. Many consumers bought Christmas gifts when they were on special offer. Unless those deals generated sales that wouldn’t have happened anyway, the mark downs mean margins will have suffered.It’s a different story for supermarkets. Their peak period kicks off around now, and the days immediately before the holiday will be the biggest for food shopping. With Brits feeling slightly less nervous, they may be prepared to buy a nicer bottle of wine, or a pricey free-range turkey — or a vegan Wellington.The recovery in the pound should be helpful too. Retailers selling clothing, toys and electronics buy well over half of the stock they sell from suppliers in Asia, and pay for them in dollars. When sterling weakens, their input costs rise. As stores struggle to pass higher prices  onto consumers, their margins get squeezed. A stronger pound should ease the pressure on profitability.  What’s more, a large amount of capacity is coming out of the market, with the likes of M&S, Debenhams Plc and Philip Green’s Arcadia Group closing stores. Chains that have survived the tumultuous conditions should benefit.But even if shoppers do party like its 1999 — and that’s still debatable — retailers may not escape a New Year hangover.If Prime Minister Boris Johnson forces through his Brexit deal — which now looks increasingly likely — it is only the starting point for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, and negotiations for a comprehensive agreement with its largest trading partner.   There’s also the toll that the uncertainty of the past three years has taken on an already fragile British economy. Businesses may have held back from investing, potentially storing up trouble for the future. And despite overall strong employment, there have been job losses. Consumers make the most drastic changes to their purchasing habits when they are made redundant or see their friends losing their jobs.So even a late surge won’t change the winners and losers this Christmas. Discount players such as Aldi and Lidl and Associated British Foods Plc’s Primark are still likely to be standout performers. Next Plc is doubling down on its strong online presence by selling other retailers’ brands, which should pay off. Bricks and mortar clothing retailers and department stores will be under pressure from both Inc. and specialist-fashion brands such as Boohoo Group Plc. Meanwhile, a revival over the next two weeks may not be enough to compensate for lackluster sales so far at Britain’s big supermarkets.The general election result should make this Christmas a little less dismal. But it won’t transform it from turkey into a cracker.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Premarket London: WPP Announces Buyback; Ocado/M&S JV Sales Strong -- Here is a summary of the most important regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, 12th December. Please refresh for updates.

  • Are Insiders Buying Marks and Spencer Group plc (LON:MKS) Stock?
    Simply Wall St.

    Are Insiders Buying Marks and Spencer Group plc (LON:MKS) Stock?

    It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. The flip side of that is that...

  • Grocery-Packing Robots Are Aiming For World Domination

    Grocery-Packing Robots Are Aiming For World Domination

    Ocado Group Plc’s new deal in Japan is appetizing, but it’s probably bitten off more than it can chew.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The online grocer that’s specialized in automating how orders are filled said on Friday that it will provide Aeon Co. with its technology, initially in the region around Tokyo. It hasn’t put a value on the deal, but Ocado expects the contract to cover sales of about 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) by 2025, rising to about 7 billion pounds by 2035.To achieve that, analysts at Bernstein estimate that it will need to build about 20 automated warehouses, the same number envisaged in Ocado’s biggest deal to date with U.S. supermarket group Kroger Co.It’s not surprising that Ocado Chief Executive Officer Tim Steiner has been tantalized by licensing the company’s software in Asia. Japan is the world’s fourth-biggest grocery market, according to industry researcher IGD. There’s also potential in other parts of Asia.But Ocado already has a lot on its plate, not least the Kroger partnership, where success is crucial to enhancing its credibility with clients and investors alike. The shares slumped earlier this month on concerns that its roll-out at one of the U.S.’s biggest traditional grocery retailers was progressing slower than expected. Ocado is also facing a new challenge from startup Takeoff Technologies. Like Ocado, which was started by three former Goldman Sachs bankers, its executives have Wall Street as well as grocery industry experience. But, rather than building giant state-of-the-art warehouses, it concentrates on making the process of picking groceries directly off of supermarket shelves for home delivery more efficient. This model has also been favored by Tesco Plc in the U.K.Ocado sought to reassure investors recently that the relationship with Kroger was on track, announcing the sixth location for what in industry jargon is called a fulfillment center. But given the importance of this contract, the fact that the U.S. is still the world’s biggest grocery market and that the group had been chasing tie-up there for years, it would have been better to keep it as its priority.When it comes to the capital available for investing in these big international partnerships, shareholders can take heart. Ocado’s sale earlier this year of a 50% stake in its U.K. online grocery business to Marks & Spencer Group Plc for up to 750 million pounds, boosted its coffers.Ocado said it had 1 billion pounds of headroom. With each warehouse costing about 30 million pounds, it has scope to build 30. Even with all the recent contract wins, it doesn’t expect to have to build more than 30 distribution centers, so it should have enough capital for its current commitments. Management bandwidth is another story. Next year, Ocado will be juggling the Kroger contract, getting Aeon off the ground and overseeing the transition to M&S becoming its grocery supplier in the U.K. That’s a lot to do. And let’s not forget its other contracts with Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA in France, Sobeys Inc. in Canada and Coles Group in Australia.The Aeon contract will also require yet more developers to prepare the technology too. Ocado estimates it will need to take on an extra 400 people to get the job done.Investors shrugged off any such concerns on Friday, with the shares rising as much as 15%. But Ocado has a history of unexpected items in its bagging area, from not having enough capacity in its warehouses to a fire at one of its robotic fulfillment centers in the U.K. earlier this year. Over-filling its delivery box increases the risk of more unpleasant surprises.((Corrects scale to trillion in first chart.))To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Premarket London: Ocado/M&S JV to Build First Fulfilment Centre -- Here is a summary of regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, 28th November. Please refresh for updates

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of MKS.L earnings conference call or presentation 6-Nov-19 9:00am GMT

    Half Year 2020 Marks and Spencer Group PLC Earnings Presentation