Profit before tax at Marks and Spencer plummets 62.1%

Marks & Spencer to shut 100 stores by 2022 amid online push

M&S lost more ground in its fourth quarter, with like-for-like clothing and home sales down 3.4 percent, worse than the previous quarter's 2.8 percent drop, and same store food sales down 0.6 percent, against a third quarter fall of 0.4 percent.

"These changes come with short-term costs which are reflected in today's results".

M&S shares - down 7% in the year to date and the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 on Tuesday - rose 6% in early trading on hopes the worst is behind the 134-year-old retailer.

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M&S had in November 2016 launched a five-year overhaul of its United Kingdom stores amid fierce competition from supermarkets and budget garment chain Primark - as well as online giants like Amazon.

Britain's Marks & Spencer on Wednesday reported a 5.4 percent fall in full-year profit, a second straight decline, hurt by a weakening in the food profit margin.

It comes a day after it announced it was closing 100 stores by 2022, accelerating a reorganisation that it says is "vital" for the retailer's future. Ahead of the results published on Wednesday, the company said it plans to close more than 100 stories in the United Kingdom by 2022. Global sales fell 7.9 percent to 1,087.2 million pounds during the year while worldwide profit before adjusting items more than doubled to 135.2 million pounds.

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M&S, one of the best known names in British retail, said it made a pretax profit before one-off items of £580.9m in the year to March 31. This is said to be a result of M&S's successful exit of loss-making owned markets and favourable currency effects.

"We have to modernise our business to ensure we are competitive and reignite our culture".

It is taking an axe to its store estate in the face of continued migration of clothing and home online, the development of global competition, the growth of home delivery in food and the march of the discounters.

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Rowe said it was targeting sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years time. "Our supply chains in both Clothing & Home and in Food require significant upgrades, so that we can be faster to market, reduce high stock levels in Clothing, and improve availability and waste in Food".

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