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After years in doldrums, High Street favourite Marks & Spencer is showing signs of getting its mojo back

  • Share price has all but tripled in value since crashing to all-time low 










After years in the doldrums, Marks & Spencer is showing signs of getting its mojo back. 

The share price has all but tripled in value since crashing to an all-time low of just 85p during the depths of the pandemic in 2020. 

However, at 258p it remains well below its peak above 700p in 2007 and the more recent high over 560p in 2015. 

So chairman Archie Norman and chief executive Steve Rowe will not be declaring ‘job done’ when it posts its third quarter trading update on Thursday – including how it fared over the crucial Christmas period. 

But investors will hope for further signs that the turnaround is well underway, putting a return to the FTSE 100 this year on the cards. 

‘The Christmas and third-quarter trading update could provide fresh insight into what Britain’s shoppers are thinking and doing, how the High Street is faring and how the long-planned turnaround at M&S under Norman and Rowe is developing,’ said Danni Hewson at AJ Bell. 

There were signs of improvement in the first half of the year when M&S said it was on course to post full-year profits of £500m. 

Investors and analysts will also hope for further progress in the food arm following its tie-up with Ocado.

In the first half of the year, M&S food sales were 10.4 per cent higher than two years earlier, before Covid struck. 

At the same time, clothing and home sales were down just 1 per cent, as a strong performance online cushioned the blow from store closures during lockdown.

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M&S hoping to keep up with Next as it reveals Christmas trading update this week to renewed investor confidence










Marks & Spencer will be hoping to keep up with Next as it reveals its Christmas trading update on Thursday. 

Under chief executive Steve Rowe, sales rose 5 per cent in the first half of its financial year as against pre-pandemic, with the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley proving a popular draw.

Russ Mould, investment analyst at AJ Bell, said: ‘Analysts will look for how online sales are faring, and how the M&S link-up with Ocado for food delivery continues to fare.’ 

Follower of fashion: Under Steve Rowe, sales rose 5 per cent in the first half of its financial year as against pre-pandemic, with model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (pictured) proving popular

Follower of fashion: Under Steve Rowe, sales rose 5 per cent in the first half of its financial year as against pre-pandemic, with model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (pictured) proving popular

Mould added that investors would also be keeping an eye out for any affirmation of, or change to, the £500m profit before tax which Rowe had predicted after first-half results. 

Michael Hewson, at CMC Markets, said M&S’s first dividend since 2019 could become more likely if the third-quarter results are strong.

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