Marks & Spencer Boosted by Ocado Venture 

Marks & Spencer Group Plc’s sales have held up better than expected during the pandemic, helped by a strong start for the U.K. retailer’s online grocery joint venture with Ocado Group Plc.

  • The British clothing, home and food retailer sounded an upbeat tone even as it posted a half-year adjusted pretax loss of 17.4 million pounds ($22.6 million). That figure was less than one-third the size of the loss analysts expected.

Key Insights

  • M&S’s food business has benefited from strong demand as people work from home, with like-for-like sales rising by 2.7%.
  • The September launch of the Ocado joint venture has been successful, with M&S banking a nearly 40 million-pound profit from it.
  • M&S’s clothing and home business was hit hard during mandatory store closures earlier this year, though a gain in online sales offset this somewhat.
  • The company has accelerated its restructuring during the pandemic and already revealed plans to cut 7,000 jobs, about a 10th of its workforce.

Market Reaction

  • Shares in M&S rose 3.3% early Wednesday in London. They’ve fallen more than 50% since the start of the year.

Get More

  • Read the full statement here.

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