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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Marks & Spencer Group plc    MKS   GB0031274896

MARKS & SPENCER GROUP PLC

(MKS)
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Little Christmas cheer for Britain's supermarkets

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01/06/2020 | 09:19am EST
FILE PHOTO: A woman pushes a shopping trolley past Christmas decorations for sale in a Tesco store in Manchester

Britain's major supermarkets are forecast to report lacklustre Christmas sales this week, reflecting weak economic growth and comparisons with generally solid festive results in 2018.

Industry hopes had risen heading into retailers' peak selling season, boosted by a decisive national election on Dec. 12 that saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives secure a commanding parliamentary majority.

Following a year of political instability and uncertainty over Brexit, that fueled speculation of a release of pent-up demand from the nation's shoppers.

But analysts say monthly data from market researcher Kantar and weekly figures from the upmarket Waitrose chain, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, indicate falling sales for Britain's major grocers over the last quarter of 2019.

Morrisons, Britain's No. 4 supermarket group which gives an update on Tuesday, is expected to be the biggest loser. Analysts forecast group like-for-like sales fell 2.2% in the 22 weeks to Jan. 5 - a period that spans Morrisons third quarter to Nov. 3 and the following nine weeks covering Christmas.

The forecast compares with a 1.9% fall in its second quarter, which was its first decline since 2016.

Sainsbury's, the No. 2 player which is trying to rebuild investor confidence following a botched attempt to take over Walmart owned rival Asda, reports on its third quarter to Jan. 4 on Wednesday. Analysts are forecasting flat grocery sales after a 0.6% rise in the second quarter.

Market leader Tesco, which launched a fresh wave of price cuts on Monday, updates on Thursday, reporting on its third quarter to Nov. 23 and the six weeks to Jan. 4.

Analysts at Barclays forecast like-for-like sales down 0.5% for the quarter and down 0.2% for the Christmas period. In Tesco's second quarter, UK like-for-like sales fell 1%, ending a run of 14 quarters of growth.

Investors will also be looking out for news of CEO designate Ken Murphy's start date and any update on the possible sale of Tesco's Asian business.

(Graphic: UK supermarkets click, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/623/623/supermarkets.png)

Monthly data from Kantar on Tuesday will give an early indication of how Tesco and Sainsbury's traded.

On Monday Aldi UK, the British arm of the German discounter, reported a 7.9% increase in total sales in the four weeks to Dec. 24 and said like-for-like sales were positive.

Aldi, along with fellow German-owned discounter Lidl, has been winning market share from Britain's biggest grocers with an aggressive store opening programme.

British clothing, food and homewares retailer Marks & Spencer, which is in the midst of its latest attempt at a turnaround, is also reporting on Thursday. Analysts on average forecast third quarter UK food like-for-like sales up 1.1%, with clothing and home sales on the same basis down 0.8%.

(Graphic: UK retail sales click, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/621/621/retail.png)

By James Davey

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BARCLAYS PLC -0.94% 179.62 Delayed Quote.-0.01%
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) -0.04% 0.83627 Delayed Quote.-1.03%
FLAGSTAR BANCORP, INC. -0.03% 35.31 Delayed Quote.-7.69%
J SAINSBURY PLC 0.81% 210.7 Delayed Quote.-8.35%
MARKS & SPENCER GROUP PLC -1.56% 183.35 Delayed Quote.-14.12%
TESCO PLC 0.31% 255.7 Delayed Quote.0.20%
WALMART INC. 0.76% 118.58 Delayed Quote.-0.22%
WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC -0.13% 185.95 Delayed Quote.-6.93%
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Financials (GBP)
Sales 2020 10 245 M
EBIT 2020 646 M
Net income 2020 280 M
Debt 2020 3 809 M
Yield 2020 5,84%
P/E ratio 2020 12,5x
P/E ratio 2021 11,5x
EV / Sales2020 0,72x
EV / Sales2021 0,70x
Capitalization 3 572 M
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Technical analysis trends MARKS & SPENCER GROUP PLC
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 24
Average target price 205,55  GBp
Last Close Price 183,35  GBp
Spread / Highest target 44,5%
Spread / Average Target 12,1%
Spread / Lowest Target -18,2%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Steve Rowe Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Archie J. Norman Chairman
David Surdeau Group Chief Financial Officer
Carl Dawson Director-Information Technology
Andrew Nigel Halford Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
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1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
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