Troubled M&S Offers Buyback Plans, Tesco Profits Soar

22 September 2004

Beleaguered British retail giant Marks & Spencer has offered shareholders a buy-back deal worth less than tycoon Philip Green's failed takeover bid.

The offer, of £3.32-£3.80 ($5.95-$6.82; €4.86-€5.56) a share, is lower than Green's £4 a share offering and comes as the retailer reports struggling sales of womenswear, childrenswear and lingerie, and an overall drop in like-for-like sales of 5.2% in the 10 weeks up to September 18.

Ceo Stuart Rose had promised to deliver value 'significantly in excess' of Green's offer in return for investors' support against the retail entrepreneur in June of this year.

M&S' troubles contrast with the performance of competitors such as Tesco. The supermarket giant unveiled soaring first-half profits of £822m, up by over 24% as non-food items leapt off the shelves.

Three of the retailer's clothing brands saw sales climb by 39%, while UK and overseas sales rose 11.5% and 14.9% respectively.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff