Marks & Spencer’s annual attempt to convince beleaguered shareholders over the merits of its long-awaited turnaround got off to a promising start today.
The retailer posts its full-year results on Wednesday, an occasion that has provided plenty of false dawns in the past.
Chief executive Steve Rowe’s latest go at showing that M&S is capable of holding its own in an internet age is likely to focus on progress in clothing, where M&S is introducing other brands to its ranges and seeking quicker turnaround of top sellers.
M&S is now worth the same as Dunelm at £3 billion, but the former blue-chip was at least on the front foot today after shares rose 1.5p to 154.25p. Broker Berenberg thinks the current price fails to appreciate the retailer’s food joint venture with Ocado, which it believes is worth about 60p a share.
If M&S shareholders need turnaround inspiration they might want to consider Royal Mail, which rose another 7.4p to 533.8p after analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove upped their price target to 805p on the back of the parcels boom.
Earlier the FTSE 250 index crept 10.32 points higher to 22,409.74, with IT services group Kainos up 22p to 1,434p and chasing down April’s record high after profits more than doubled to £57.1 million.
London’s FTSE 100 index was 17.9 points higher at 7,035.95, aided by Vodafone’s 1.54p rise to 129.02p following last week’s big sell-off.
Bitcoin was also on firmer ground after another pummelling over the weekend, with the crypto up 5% to $36,568.60.
Among today’s market newcomers, Taylor Maritime Investments has raised more than $250 million from investors as its moves to build a fleet of 23 second-hand cargo ships. The new shares will begin trading on Thursday, with Jefferies working on the IPO.