November 8, 2017 / 7:19 AM / a year ago

Britain's M&S to speed up change as profits fall again​

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s Marks & Spencer on Wednesday reported a 5.3 percent fall in first-half profit, a second straight decline, hurt by sales falls, and said it would speed up the pace of its turnaround plan.

M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, said it would accelerate its space rationalisation plan for clothing and homeware and reposition its food business, including slowing its opening plan for Simply Food stores.

The group made a pretax profit before one-off items of 219.1 million pounds ($288.18 million) in the 26 weeks to Sept. 30.

That was ahead of analysts’ average forecast of 201 million pounds but below 231.3 million pounds made in the same period last year.

Second-quarter clothing and homeware like-for-like sales fell 0.1 percent, having fallen 1.2 percent in the first quarter. Same store food sales fell 0.1 percent, the same as the previous quarter. ($1 = 0.7603 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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