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    MKS   GB0031274896

MARKS AND SPENCER GROUP PLC

(MKS)
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More than 10% of British shops vacant, survey shows

09/03/2020 | 12:32am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London

More than one-in-ten British shops now stand empty, reflecting recent widespread closures which are partly the result of the coronavirus crisis, a report on Thursday showed.

Researcher Springboard said the vacancy rate rose to 10.8% in July, from 9.8% in January 2020, reaching its highest level since January 2014 as Britain's store-based retail sector, outside of food, was hit by a lockdown to counter the pandemic.

Already weak players such as Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Oasis Warehouse, Cath Kidston and Monsoon/Accessorize have all gone into administration, with the loss of thousands of jobs, while other major retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Boots and John Lewis, are also closing stores.

Britain's store groups were already struggling with high rents and business taxes, tight margins and online competition before the pandemic took a grip on the country's economy.

Springboard said vacancies rose in six out of ten areas, but by far the greatest increase was in Greater London, where the vacancy rate rose by nearly two-thirds.

"This result brings into sharp focus the difficulties faced by large cities in attracting customers back and the impact of this on our bricks and mortar retail landscape," Springboard director Diane Wehrle said in a statement.

Springboard said that although shopper numbers improved in August for the third consecutive month, they were still down 30.8% from the same period in 2019.

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alexander Smith)


ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
FLAGSTAR BANCORP, INC. -0.31% 45.13 Delayed Quote.10.72%
MARKS AND SPENCER GROUP PLC -0.89% 155.61 Delayed Quote.15.19%
WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC. -1.59% 54.43 Delayed Quote.38.69%
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Financials
Sales 2022 9 994 M 14 105 M 14 105 M
Net income 2022 246 M 347 M 347 M
Net Debt 2022 3 276 M 4 624 M 4 624 M
P/E ratio 2022 13,5x
Yield 2022 1,04%
Capitalization 3 071 M 4 333 M 4 334 M
EV / Sales 2022 0,64x
EV / Sales 2023 0,59x
Nbr of Employees 69 577
Free-Float 99,7%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 24
Average target price 172,71 GBX
Last Close Price 157,00 GBX
Spread / Highest target 33,8%
Spread / Average Target 10,0%
Spread / Lowest Target -23,6%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Steve Rowe Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Eoin Philip Tonge Chief Financial Officer & Director
Archie J. Norman Chairman
Carl Dawson Director-Information Technology
Stuart Machin Joint Chief Operating Officer & MD-Food
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