British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has suffered a six-month loss for the first time in nearly a hundred years. The group was particularly affected by the corona pandemic in its clothing sales.
M&S suffered a net loss of £ 17.4 million (over £ 19 million) in the first half year, compared to a profit of £ 176 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales of clothing and household items fell by more than 40 percent.
Other major clothing retailers have also presented dramatic performances during the global lockdowns, but for M&S it was added that the blow fell in the middle of a major restructuring operation. In August, the group cut 7,000 jobs at an accelerated pace.
It is the first time since the company was listed on the stock exchange in 1926 that M&S has reported a loss. The figures also contain bright spots: food sales rose 2.7 percent. Especially in the British suburbs, much more was sold, presumably due to a lot of home working.
Overall, the numbers were less bad than analysts had feared. The M&S stock showed a plus of 5 percent in morning trading on Wednesday, although it has still stood at a mega loss of 55 percent since the beginning of the year.