.A squeeze on consumers’ disposable incomes and rising
prices for commodities mean the retailer is “cautious” about
prospects, London-based Marks & Spencer said today in a
statement. The shares fell as much as 2.2 percent .
.Bolland, 51, has increased market share across both Marks &
Spencer’s main divisions by improving presentation of clothing
ranges and adding new food ranges. He’s also increased
advertising with the ‘Only at Your M&S’ campaign. Pretax profit
in the year through March climbed to 714.3 million pounds ($1.15
billion), excluding property gains, beating the 711 million-
pound average estimate of 24 analysts compiled by Bloomberg .
.“We’ve got the good news now, but we’re a bit more
cautious going forward,” Tom Gadsby, an analyst at Matrix
Capital in London. He has an “add” rating on the stock .
.Marks & Spencer shares fell as much as 8.9 pence to 388.1
pence and traded at 389.5 pence as of 8:07 a.m .
.The short-term outlook for the economy “remains
challenging,” the retailer said in the statement. U.K. consumer
confidence slumped to its weakest level since the depth of the
recession in February 2009, GfK NOP Ltd. said in a report last
month. Household finances are under pressure from inflation
that’s double the Bank of England’s 2 percent target and the
tightest fiscal squeeze since World War II .
.New Segmentation ..Marks & Spencer said today it will test a new segmentation
of its stores from October with better layout, improved branding
of its clothing ranges and more food items. The retailer also
plans its first local language and currency website in France by
the end of this year .
.Bolland has hired a raft of new executives including Tesco
Plc’s Laura Wade-Gery to oversee its multichannel push and
Inditex SA’s Jan Heere to head up the international business.
The retailer is extending its stores in Shanghai and re-entering
France after a 10-year hiatus .
.Net income rose to 612 million pounds, the statement shows .
.The retailer said it will pay a final dividend of 10.8
pence a share, a 14 percent increase on the previous year .