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M&S to ask for more time as clothing sales keep falling

By James Davey LONDON (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer <MKS.L> is set to report a ninth straight quarterly fall in underlying clothing sales, with the firm likely to say it is too soon to see the full impact of a new general merchandise team and much vaunted new season ranges. Britain's biggest clothing retailer, which also sells homewares and food, publishes second-quarter sales on Tuesday and also reports first-half results expected to show a 12 percent fall in pretax profit - down for the third year running.

Marks & Spencer CEO faces crucial tests

By James Davey LONDON (Reuters) - Next month Marks & Spencer will come under intense scrutiny as it prepares to reveal new fashion ranges, a strategy update and annual results, events that could shape the future of the British retailer and its chief executive. Marc Bolland, CEO since May 2010, is under pressure to revive the firm's clothing business, which has been losing market share to firms like Primark and Debenhams.

Marks & Spencer lingerie chief exits after three months

LONDON (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer said on Tuesday its head of lingerie and beauty, Janie Schaffer, had left the firm after just three months in the job, dealing another blow to its struggling clothing business. A spokeswoman for M&S said Schaffer had left the firm but declined to comment further. Before joining M&S Schaffer was chief creative officer at Victoria's Secret. M&S announced her appointment, amid much fanfare, last November.

M&S relies on food sales for growth as clothing struggles

By James Davey LONDON (Reuters) - British retailer Marks & Spencer posted a seventh straight quarterly fall in underlying sales of clothing and homewares, having to rely on a strong performance from its food business to deliver overall growth. Marc Bolland, chief executive of the 129-year-old retailer that has recently been the subject of takeover speculation, is under pressure from shareholders to revive its clothing operations.

Marks & Spencer clothing sales to fall further

By James Davey LONDON (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer <MKS.L> is expected to report a seventh consecutive quarterly fall in clothing and homewares sales on Thursday, intensifying the takeover speculation surrounding one of Britain's best-known retailers. M&S, which attracts 21 million customers a week to its over 700 British stores, is forecast to report a 4-6 percent drop in underlying sales of general merchandise, spanning clothing, footwear and homewares, in its fiscal fourth quarter to March 30.

FTSE snaps three-day rally after miner weakness

By Alistair Smout LONDON (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 fell on Friday after a three-day rally, as investors backed away from riskier sectors and U.S. GDP figures came in below expectations. Material and energy stocks, which are sensitive to optimism over the global economic outlook, took 26 points off the FTSE 100, dragging the index into negative territory.

UPDATE 1-Marks & Spencer sales fall ratchets up pressure on CEO

(Writes through, adds detail and background throughout) By Neil Maidment LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Shares in Marks & Spencer fell sharply on Thursday as investors reacted to poor non-food Christmas sales, a slump that has cranked up the pressure on the head of the British retailer.
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