Wednesday, 31st January: M&S have revealed some plans today about the steps they want to take towards the programme to reposition about 25% of its clothing and home space. Today it was revealed that the group is planning to close six stores in the UK by the end of April, and a further eight had also been identified for closure. Employees from the six stores closing in April are all safe and will keep their jobs as they are going to be relocated to branches nearby. However, approximately 468 employees are going to be effected by the further eight stores that have been identified for closure, although the group are set to create a further 1,200 jobs via the opening of the circa 36 stores owned or franchised “Simply Food” stores. The shares somewhat survived being hurt too bad on the news, as they were trading down a modest 0.80% in the afternoon at 302p.
Capita experienced a much tougher crowd on Wednesday, after the shares were cut by more than 40% following a profit warning and plans to raise cash in order to avoid following the same dark path as Carillion. The plans include raising around £700 million in a rights issue sometime this year, getting rid of the dividend and selling off some assets. By the afternoon, shares were down 44% at 194p, more than 60% away from the 500p the group were trading at the same time last year.
The FTSE opened around 0.14% higher which was somewhat short-lived, as it was back down to mid-December 2017 levels of trading by 13:30 GMT and was down by around 0.13% at 7583.
Sterling was also on the hit list today, after news surfaced that EU officials rejected the suggestion for finance companies in Britain to operate in the EU market as freely as when they were EU members, and without barriers. The news sent GBP/USD down by around 0.20% to $1.4127, and GBP/EUR down by around 0.47% to €1.1350.
By the end of the day the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 were down 0.72% and 0.62% respectively.