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Cuts plan due next month

M&S preparing for ‘never the same again’ working

M&S label

Clothing has seen ‘materially subdued trading’

Marks & Spencer said the coronavirus will change ways of working permanently and it will unveil “very significant measures” with its annual results on 20 May to reduce costs and protect cash flow.

“The crisis has created a very different way of working and rapid learning for the business at all levels,” it said in a statement.

“At the time of the results presentation we will also outline measures being taken to accelerate the transformation programme and change ways of working permanently under our “never the same again” programme currently being prepared for implementation.”

The company expects to take a hit across its clothing and food business and has secured liquidity via £1.1bn from its banks and access to the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

It expects “materially subdued trading” for the balance of 2020 in Clothing & Home. The transition to distributor Ocado is on track for September to form a multi-channel food operation.

However, food trading has been adversely affected by lockdown due to the closure of cafes and slowdown in travel and some city centre locations.

The board said it does not “at this stage” anticipate paying a dividend for the 2020/21 financial year, generating a cash saving of c.£210m.

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