Marks Profits Set To Cause Few Sparks

Marks & Spencer, Britain's biggest clothing retailer, is set to post a 34 percent drop in first-half profit on Tuesday, hit by a deepening consumer downturn and self-confessed mistakes at its food business, says Reuters.

The 124-year-old mainstay of UK retailing is expected to report profit before tax and one-off items of 296.5 million pounds ($482.4 million) for the six months ended September, according to the mean forecast of 11 analysts in a Reuters poll.

That would be the worst first-half performance since 2004 and down from 451.8 million in the same period last year.

Full-year profit forecasts for M&S continue to fall, with the average now standing at 683 million pounds, down from about 1 billion at the start of the year, according to Reuters Estimates.