Retailer figures to show depth of high-street recovery

Author: By Simon Evans

Analysts will look to M&S’s chief executive, Sir Stuart Rose, to reinvigorate the stock after its shares tumbled last month following a poorly received investor presentation in the City.

Earlier this month, a market researcher TNS FashionTrak said M&S had lost ground to rivals including Asda’s George and Primark, which now have larger pieces of the fashion pie. But James Monroe of S&P Equity Research, said: “I think there might be a few reasons to be pleased with M&S on Wednesday.”

M&S is expected to say profits fell by around 4 per cent in the first half of the year, coming in at £285m.

Kate Colvert, a retail analyst at Shore Capital said: “M&S has introduced 600 branded lines [non-M&S] in stores in the North-east. But they have been quiet on a national roll-out. Had the project been successful, they would have been more forward.” Shares closed up 0.65 per cent on Friday at 342.5p.

Meanwhile, Next chief Simon Wolfson is likely to say the chain’s underlying sales fell in the third quarter by up to 4 per cent, while budget retailer Primark is set to display recession resilience in Tuesday’s full-year numbers.

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