Blog: Sir Stuart risks being grounded
Dean Best | 7 January 2009
Don't let the jump in the share price fool you – Marks and Spencer continues to lose its sparkle.
Today's (7 January) news of store closures, job cuts and a poor Christmas heaps more pressure on chairman Sir Stuart Rose.
Sir Stuart is a natural optimist and this morning pointed to a recovery from M&S's food business after weeks of promotional activity.
"Food showed an improved trend quarter on quarter, reflecting the initiatives put in place around better values, promotional stance, innovation, increased availability and reduced waste,” he said.
Nevertheless, the admission that margins had been hit due to M&S's sharpened focus on price was a signal of the problems at the retailer.
Just a matter of months ago, Sir Stuart faced intense investor pressure over his position at the helm of M&S. However, he insisted this morning that the company's travails would not jeopardise his own position.
"If this was an aeroplane flying through a storm I don't think the best thing to do is nip up the front and chuck the pilot out," Sir Stuart was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
There is little doubt, however, that M&S is experiencing some pretty severe turbulence at the moment.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
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