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Marks & Spencer Grp (MKS)

Marks & Spencer Grp

Annual Financial Report
RNS Number : 8041O
Marks & Spencer Group PLC
03 June 2020
 

 

Marks and Spencer Group plc (the "Company")

 

Annual Report and Financial Statements 2020

 

In compliance with Listing Rule 9.6.1, the Company announces that the following documents have today been submitted to the UK Listing Authority, and will shortly be available for inspection via the National Storage Mechanism at https://data.fca.org.uk/#/nsm/nationalstoragemechanism:

 

· Annual Report and Financial Statements 2020;

 

· Notice of Annual General Meeting of the Company, which will be broadcast from Waterside House, 35 North Wharf Road, London W2 1NW at 11am on Friday 3 July 2020; and

 

· Proxy forms for the 2020 Annual General Meeting.

 

In accordance with DTR 6.3.5(3) the Annual Report and Financial Statements 2020 and the Notice of Annual General Meeting are accessible on corporate.marksandspencer.com/investors

 

A condensed set of Marks and Spencer Group plc financial statements and information on important events that have occurred during the year and their impact on the financial statements were included in the Company's preliminary results announcement on 20 May 2020. That information together with the information set out below which is extracted from the Annual Report and Financial Statements constitute the requirements of DTR 6.3.5 which is to be communicated via an RIS in unedited full text. This announcement is not a substitute for reading the full Annual Report and Financial Statements. Page and note references in the text below refer to page numbers in the Annual Report and Financial Statements 2020. To view the preliminary results announcement, visit the Company website: corporate.marksandspencer.com/investors

 

For further information, please contact:

Group Secretariat: +44 (0)20 3934 3043

 

 

Additional Information

 

Principal risks and uncertainties

 

Below are details of our principal risks and uncertainties and the mitigating activities in place to address them. It is recognised that the Group is exposed to risks wider than those listed. However, we have disclosed those we believe are likely to have the greatest impact on our business at this moment in time and those that have been the subject of debate at recent Board or Audit Committee meetings.

 

DESCRIPTION & CONTEXT

MITIGATING ACTIVITIES

TRADING PERFORMANCE RECOVERY

 A failure of our Food and/or Clothing & Home business to effectively and rapidly respond to the pressures of an increasinglycompetitiveandchangingretailenvironment, including the impact of Covid-19, would adversely impact customerexperience,operationalefficiencyandbusiness performance.

M&S competes with a diverse range of retailers - in both Food and Clothing & Home - in an increasingly challenged sector faced with continued cost and pricing pressures, shiftsinconsumerbehavioursandbroadermacroeconomic uncertainties. Delivering the right product ranges that appeal to our customers, clear and simple pricing architecture and availability are  critical  to  the  growth of ourbusiness

In addition, Covid-19 has  had,  and continues  to  have, asignificantnegativeimpactonourtradingperformance inlinewithUKretailmorewidely.Managingthegrowthin surplus stock resulting from the lockdown is an area of businessfocus.

Delays in implementing the targeted transformational improvements, or the business recovery plans in response to Covid-19, across the business could negatively impact business performance.

 

Continued to strengthen capabilities of our senior leadershipteamsinbothFoodandClothing&Home through targetedrecruitment.

Established operating model consisting ofafamilyof accountablebusinesseswhoshareM&Sbrandvalues, colleagues and support functions, technology and customerdata.

Managing directors for each ofthesebusinesseswhohave full accountability for their performance including for marketing,supplychain,financeandtechnology.

Individual Business Boards to enable executive oversight andeffectivegovernanceofeachbusiness.

Continued delivery against business-specific transformation plans incorporating discipline around cost, prices, availability, value, ranges, broadening customer appeal and promotions across bothbusinesses.

Development, ongoing update and monitoring of business- specificplanningforthebusinessrestoreasfuturestagesof thelockdownarecommunicated.Thisincludesdevelopment of a clear strategy to manage the wide-ranging implications ofthelockdownperiodonallaspectsoftheClothing&Home supplychainandinventorymanagement.

Planned improvements to online trading by delivering both the Ocado online launch inFoodandouronlineambitions forClothing&Home.

 

BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION
A failure to execute our business transformation and cultural change initiatives with pace, consistency and cross-businessbuy-inwillimpedeourabilitytoimprove operationalefficiencyandcompetitiveness.

Thebusinesshascontinuedtodelivertherangeofprojects underpinningthetransformation,including:

Thereshaping,modernisingandeffectivemanagement ofaUKstoreestatethatisfitforthefuture,withtheright stores in the right space, improved integration between online and store sales and shopping facilities expected byourtargetcustomergroups.

Modernising our supply chain and logistics activities to improvespeed,operationaleffectivenessandavailability andtoreducecosts.

Delivering our Digital First ambitions to improve customer experience, reduce costs andworksmarter across thebusiness.

InresponsetoCovid-19,wewillneedtore-evaluatepriorities and their delivery, including acceleration of initiatives to respond to permanent changes in customer behaviours or tochangeourownworkingpractices,balancingdeliveryof thetransformationwithstrictcashmanagementdisciplines andrapidlyreactingtotheconsequencesofthepandemic.

Apauseordelaytokeycomponentsofthebusiness improvement programme because of the virus responseorotherreasonsmaydelaydeliveryofthe transformationobjectives.

 

Adoption ofa'NevertheSameAgain'approachtoallaspects ofbusinessoperationsandprioritisationofthemostcritical improvementinitiatives.

Comprehensive review of all operational and capital expendituretoallocatespendingtothoseactivitiesaligned to the transformation agenda and stop others in view of Covid-19prioritiesandrecovery.

Maintenance ofprogrammegovernanceprinciplesforall ongoingprojects.

Periodic independent audit reviews ofkeyprogramme deliveryandreportingtotheAuditCommittee.

Maintaining momentum to deliver ongoing initiatives to transform our supply chain capabilities in all parts of the business. For example, in Food the Vangarde supply chain programmehasdemonstratedimprovementstofoodwaste levels andavailability.

Continued focus on the store estate transformation with newinitiativeslikeredevelopmentofexistingsitestomake effectiveuseofspace,resettingrentalrateswithlandlords anddeliveryofnewformatstores.

 

LIQUIDITY AND FUNDING

Significantly reduced trading over an extended and currentlyundeterminedtimeframe,combinedwithan inability to effectively manage expenditure against revised targets, could impact the business's ability to operate within and secure additional committed creditfacilities.

Availability of, andaccessto,appropriatesourcesoffunding is required for core business operations and the successful andtimelydeliveryofourtransformationplan.Inaddition, cash management has additional complexity as a consequence of the ongoing trading restrictions during lockdown, the associated reduction in cash generation and planning for the impact of furloughing, deferral of taxpaymentsandotheremergencymeasures.

Brexit adds a further dimension to this risk because of the potential impact on currency movements, corporate bondrates,changesincreditregulationsandtheextentof governmentsupportofcreditmarkets.

Aninabilitytomaintainappropriateshort-andlonger-term funding to meet business needs (both operational and strategic), make payments on debt and to effectively manage associated risks, such as significant fluctuations in foreign currency or interest rate changes, may have an adverseimpactonbusinessviabilityandperformance.

 

Continued use oftheexistingcommittedfacilitiesavailable tothebusiness,includingthe£1.1bnrevolvingcreditfacility.

Immediate measures implemented to manage cash and liquidity,including:

· Freezing ofdiscretionaryspend

· Significant reduction incapitalspending

· Dividend deferral

· Temporary furlough ofcolleagues

· Enhanced controls over spending

· Confirmation ofoureligibilityundertheUKgovernment's CCFFscheme

· Use ofthebusinessratesholiday,taxpaymentdeferraland othergovernmentsupportmeasures

Formal agreement received from the syndicate of lending bankstorelaxorwaivecovenantconditionsforourrevolving creditfacility.

Close monitoring and stress testing of projected cash and debtcapacity,financialcovenantsandotherratingmetrics.

Regular dialogue with the market andratingagencies.

Review ofcounterpartycreditriskandlimitsinlinewith ourriskappetiteandtreasurypolicy.

 

BREXIT

An inability to quickly identify and effectively respond to thechallengesofapost-Brexitenvironmentcouldhavea significantimpactonperformanceacrossourbusiness.

ThepotentialimplicationsoftheUK'sexitfromtheEuropean Unionaresignificantandinclude:

Deterioration incustomersentiment.

Operational complexity and cost due to restrictions onthemovementofgoodsandstricterbordercontrols (includingthemovementofgoodsbetweenGreatBritain and NorthernIreland).

Costs passed through from our suppliers.

Continuity ofsupplyandsupplierviability.

Importandexportduties.

Volatility incurrencyandcorporatebondrates.

Tightening ofthelabourmarket.

Additional regulatory responsibilities andcosts.

Increased complexity andcostinourinternational operations,includingourfranchiseactivities.

While an orderly exit following the end of the transitional period would allow business planning to more effectively address the consequences of change against a defined timeframe,thelevelofchangerequiredaspartofanydeal is yet unclear. A no deal outcome would have a more immediateandnegativeimpact.

ThefocusontheresponsetoCovid-19andthepossibility that the government may not seek an extension of the transitional period may mean there is an increased risk of a 'no deal' departure and the consequential ability to implementthenecessarymeasuresonatimelybasis.


A cross-business working party is in place to undertake scenario planning including financial and operational impact assessments and to consider and drive readiness requirements.

Each of our family of businesses has undertaken a risk assessment to prioritise and plan for the operational changes they will need. Teams have continued to progress planning during the current pandemic lockdown.

Updates are provided to the Board and Audit Committee outlining risks and actions being undertaken.

We are engaged with the government and industry bodies to represent M&S's views, including the UK Border Development Group with access to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to support operational planning.

FOOD ONLINE

A failure to effectively execute the launch of M&S productsforOcadoRetailwouldsignificantlyimpactthe achievementofourstrategytotakeourfoodonlineina profitable,scalableandsustainableway.

TheinvestmentinOcadoRetailispartofourstrategyfor improvingouronlinereachandcapability.Toachievethis, wearecommittedtoprovidingM&Sproductrangesandto have established new product development capabilities forOcadoRetailbythebeginningofSeptember2020.

Activities include:

Finalisation ofallcommercialagreementswithsuppliers.

Delivery ofarangeofM&Sproductstoallowaseamless transitionforOcadocustomersonlaunch.

Establishing data andtechnologyinterfaceswith OcadoRetail.

Developing operating procedures andwaysofworking betweenthetwobusinesses.

An inability to establish effective operating protocols in advanceofthelaunchdate,whetherrelatedtotheimpact of Covid-19 or other factors, could delay delivery of the expectedbenefitsfromourinvestmentinOcadoRetail.

 

M&SnominateddirectorsarepartoftheOcadoRetailBoard andparticipateinleadershipforums.

Theestablishmentandcontinuedoperationofadedicated M&S programme team, supported by senior leadership, to overseeallaspectsofprojectdeliveryincludingcommercial agreements, product range, and establishment of ongoing operatingprocesses.

Joint working group in place with Ocado Group Plc and OcadoRetailtoestablishthesystems,processesandways of working to coordinate sourcing, product development, productranging,customerdataandmarketing.

Regular remote communication continues under lockdown with the Board, senior management andthedeliveryteams.

 

FOOD SAFETY &INTEGRITY

Failure to prevent or effectively respond to a food safety incident, or to maintain the integrity of our products, could impact business performance, customer confidence and our brand.

Food safety and integrity remain vital for our business. Weneedtomanagethepotentialriskstocustomerhealth andconsumerconfidencethatfaceallfoodretailers.

This includes considering how external pressures onthe food industry and wider economic and environmental changes could impact the availability and integrity of our food, the ability to operate all routine controls, ourreputationandshareholdervalue.

Many of these external pressures, including the impact ofCovid-19,inflationarycosts,labourqualityandavailability, increased regulatory scrutiny, animal disease, and the unknown impact of Brexit, are, to a large degree, outsideourcontrolbutareneverthelessmonitored.

 

Oversight from Customer andBrandProtectionCommittee.

Food Safety Policy andStandardsareinplace,withclear accountabilitysetatalllevels.

Defined Terms of Trade, manufacturing standards, specificationsfor"fromfarmtofork"andstandardoperating procedures(stores,supportcentreandsupplychain).

New food initiatives assessed for food safety risks.

Qualified andcapabletechnicalteam,withcontinuing professional developmentprogramme.

Store, supplier anddepotauditprogrammes,including unannouncedvisitsandrawmaterialtesting,adaptedto bemanagedremotelywheresitevisitsarenotpossible.

Introduction of modified processes, including enhanced monitoringofqualityandcustomercomplaints,tomitigate riskduringtheCovid-19lockdownandongoingassessment oftheneedforfurtherchange.

Quarterly review ofourcontrolframework.

Established processes for the development andlegal sign-offforproductpackaging.

Documented andtestedcrisismanagementplan.

Membership oftheFoodIndustryIntelligenceNetwork atBoardandOperatingCommitteelevel.

 

CORPORATE COMPLIANCE & RESPONSIBILITY

Failure to deliver against our legal, regulatory, social and environmental commitments would undermine our reputationasaresponsibleretailer,mayresultinlegal exposureorregulatorysanctions,andcouldnegatively impactourabilitytooperateand/orremainrelevantto ourcustomers.

Theincreasinglybroadandstringentlegalandregulatory frameworkforretailerscreatespressureonbothbusiness performance and market sentiment requiring continual improvements in how we operate as a business to maintaincompliance.

More recently, the requirements triggered by the Covid-19 o utbreak, including inrelationtosafetyand social distancing, have inashorttimeframenecessitated immediate changes to operating procedures in our distributionnetwork,storesandsupportcentres.

In addition, the expectations of our customers and other stakeholders (including regulators) are increasingly demanding. The environmental impact of food, packaging and the sustainability of clothing are all increasingly relevant. Speed in responding to evolving expectations is vital to maintaining a positive business perception.

Non-compliance may result infines,criminalprosecutionfor M&Sorcolleagues,litigation,additionalinvestmenttorectify breaches,disruptionorcessationofbusinessactivity,aswell ashaveanimpactonourreputationandfinancialresults.

 

A Code of Conduct is in place and has recently been reviewed and updated. This is underpinned by policies and procedures, including human rights, modern slavery, global sourcing, data protection, anti-bribery and corruption, health & safety, food safety, national minimum wage, equal pay, cyber and data security. An annual self-assessment compliance process is also in place.

Immediate crisis response capability (via the Crisis Management team) when required on a reactive basis - more recently for Covid-19.

Mandatory induction briefings and annual training for relevant colleagues on key regulations.

Oversight from committees and steering groups such as for fire, health and safety or food safety.

In-house regulatory legal team, including specialist solicitors, which conducts 'horizon scanning' on new and emerging regulatory and legislative changes.

Dedicated non-legal regulatory issue leaders and advisers to drive compliance against key risk areas within the business. This includes, for example, GSCOP (Groceries Supply Code of Practice) compliance in Food or ethical sourcing in Clothing & Home.

Proactive engagement with regulators, legislators, trade bodies and policy makers.

Simplified Plan A operating model with a lean central team responsible for setting the framework and establishing sustainability priorities in each of our family of businesses.

Published, monitored and reported commitments in relation to environmental and social issues in line with regulatory requirements.

Established auditing and monitoring systems.

Customer contact centre insight and analysis of live social media issues.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY & RESILIENCE

Failures or resilience issues at key business locations could result in major business interruption. In particular, a major incident at our Castle Donington e-commerce distribution centre may have a significant impact on our ability to fulfil online orders. More broadly, an inability to effectively respond to global events, such as pandemic or supply chain disruption, would significantly impact business performance.

As our sole online Clothing & Home fulfilment centre, the effective operation of our Castle Donington depot is vital. A major incident leading to a sustained period offline would impact sales and potentially hinder the growth of M&S.com.

In addition to Castle Donington, the loss of other locations such as the dedicated warehouses that store beers, wines & spirits or frozen goods in the UK or support facilities, such as for IT, could impact business operations.

While the response to Covid-19 has highlighted positives in the business's ability to continue operating in extreme circumstances, it has also underlined the risk associated with our global supply chains. The reliance on China and the interdependency of sourcing locations, in addition to the concentration of supply from individual countries such as Bangladesh, highlight the potential impact of globally disruptive events. Beyond supply chain, the implications on trading both in the UK and International are also a risk.

 

A dedicated Business Continuity team.

An established Group Crisis Management process - which was invoked and has operated throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

Business continuity plans, incorporating remote working requirements, are in place for key activities across our operations, including offices, depots and IT sites. These were invoked and, where needed, refined during lockdown.

Group Incident Reporting & Management Procedures in place and used to escalate incidents on site. These also include critical third parties.

Store and sourcing office business continuity assessments and visits, where appropriate.

Insurance cover to mitigate the impact of remediation and business interruption.

Mechanisms to validate the existence of key supplier arrangements.

Ongoing contingency planning for Brexit.

Enhanced capabilities at Castle Donington to manage technology failure.

Engagement with external stakeholders including Retail Business Continuity Association and government-led initiatives.

Membership of the National Counter Terrorism Information exchange.

INFORMATION SECURITY

Failure to adequately prevent orrespondtoadatabreach or cyber-attack could adversely impact our reputation, result in significant fines, business disruption, loss of stakeholder confidence, and/or loss of information for ourcustomers,employeesorbusiness.

The increasing sophistication and frequency of cyber-attacks in the retail industry, coupled with the Data Protection Act (DPA), highlight the escalating information securityriskfacingallbusinesses.Ourrelianceonanumber of third parties hosting critical services and holding M&S and customer data also means the information security riskprofileischangeable.

This risk alsoincreasesaswedevelopourdigitalcapabilities. For example our dependency on the availability of, and access to, insightful data across our business and/or withtheincreasingshiftonline.

Inaddition,theriskofadatabreachormisuseisimpactedby Covid-19asthereisthepotentialfor:

· Anincreaseintargetedphishingcampaigns.

· New risks linked to working from home andtheusage of personaldevices.

· Increased reliance onthirdpartiessupportingcritical supportservices.

 

Dedicated Information Security function, comprising a multi-disciplinary operation of information security specialistsandsupportservicesandcapabilities,witha 24/7SecurityOperationCentre.

Continued focus on improving controls, policies, and procedures in line with our environment and threat landscape,includingheightenedareasofriskduetoCovid-19.

Maintained focus onscanningourthreatenvironment.

Established third-party assurance programme.

Focused security assurance, overall operational rigor and securityhygienearoundsignificantchangeactivities.

Network ofDataProtectionComplianceManagersinpriority businessareastooverseeandaddresscompliance.

Mandatory information security and data protection trainingforcolleagues,includingresponsibilitiesforthe useofpersonaldata.

Corporate Security team with afocusonimprovingthe physical securityenvironment.

 

TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITY

A failure to improve our technology capabilities, reduce dependency on legacy systems and enhance digital capability could limit our ability to keep pace with customerexpectationsandcompetitors,enablebusiness transformationandgrowprofitably.

Thedigitalworldcontinuestoevolveatanunrelentingpace, enabling competitive advantage, influencing consumer behaviours or expectations and increasing demands on IT infrastructure. As demonstrated during the Covid-19 lockdown,ourbusinessresilienceisincreasinglydependent on the reliability and effectiveness of our technology infrastructure andcapability.

We are clear onouraimtobeDigitalFirstandcontinueto planandinvesttosupportthisobjective.

While a focus on improving the existing IT infrastructure hasbeguntodeliverimprovementsincapability,flexibility and cost efficiency, further work is required to enable the business to move with pace to meet customer and colleagueneeds.

We also need to continue to develop the skills and capabilitiesofourcolleaguesinordertodrivebeneficialand effectiveuseofthetechnologicalchangesthataremade.

 

Delivery against our technology transformation programme continues and is underpinned with a defined technology operating model, project governance principles and agilemethodology.

Cross-channel technology investment strategy in place andalignedtothefamilyofbusinesses,reviewedquarterly totrackbenefitsrealisationofcoreprojects.

Improvements to our ITinfrastructure,increasedbandwidth and deployment of a unified communication and collaboration tool, which underpinned the rapid move toremoteworkingduringtheCovid-19lockdown.

Continued investment inin-storetechnologyand digitalcapabilitiestoenhancebothcustomerand colleagueexperience.

Prioritisation oftechnologyinitiativeswhichisfullyaligned withouroperatingandcapitalexpendituretargets.

Continued collaboration with our principal technology services partner, TCS,andotherstrategicpartnerships, suchasMicrosoft,todriveourDigitalFirstambition.

Expansion oftheDecodedprogrammeandinvestmentin dataanalyticsexpertisetoimprovedigitalpeopleskills.

Investment indedicatedresourcefocusedontechnology risk and assurance maturity and roll-out of a structured IT controlmethodology.

 

THIRD-PARTY MANAGEMENT

An inability to successfully manage and leverage our strategic third-party relationships, or a critical failure of a key supplier or partner, could impact delivery of our transformation initiatives, our ability to operate effectively and efficiently or, in some circumstances, our brand and reputation.

Our business is dependent on a range of significant third-partyrelationshipsthatspanproductsandservices, franchise operations, joint ventures, investments and our banking and services partners. A critical failure of a key supplier or partner could have a significant impact on operationalactivities,ourtransformationand/orcustomer experience - any of which could negatively impact operatingprofit.

The scale and impact of Covid-19, both in the UK and internationally,hasheightenedthepossibilityofdisruption orfailureintheimportantgroupofthird-partycompanies thatformpartoftheextendedoperationsofourbusiness.

 

Inclusion of third-party management risks as part of the CrisisManagementteamoversightoftheCovid-19response.

Clear procurement andsuppliermanagementpolicies in place, including dedicated relationship partners for strategicsuppliers.

Defined service level agreements andkeyperformance indicatorsforkeycontracts.

Dedicated procurement andcommercialteams.

Key supplier business contingency planning including targeted reviews by our Business Continuity team.

Structured governance and business monitoring processes forinvestments,otherpartneringandfranchiseagreements.

Integrated business planning processes to support franchise andjointventurereviews.

Regular review offranchiseandjointventuremarketsand newopportunities.

Third-party self-assessment processes to confirm compliance with expected standards andpolicies.

 

TALENT, CULTURE &CAPABILITY

Aninabilitytomaintainefficientprocessesandcomplete, accurate people metrics could impact our ability to effectively target our resources and people agenda to focus on attracting, engaging, developing and motivatingcolleaguesanddevelopingskillsforthefuture. Thiscouldalsoimpactthepaceofoperationalandcultural transformationacrossthebusiness.

The need to engage, motivate and connect with our colleaguesacrossamulti-generational,diverseworkforce anddriveDigitalFirstskillsandmindsetiskeytodelivering productivity and supporting the  transformation of our business while driving customer loyalty through adifferentiatedserviceproposition.

Aninabilitytomaintainthenecessarychangemanagement capabilities could constrain our transformation objectives. This, combined with the cultural challenge of managing talent,performanceandsuccessioncouldresultinincreased resourcemanagementanddevelopmentcosts.

 

Investment inexternalhirestostrengthencapabilityand addressidentifiedskillsgaps.

Investment ininternaltalentthroughstructured identification ofcriticalandseniorroles.

Leadership development programmes to enhance leadership capability andcolleagueengagement.

Improved new starter experience to ensure effective onboarding, engagement andretentionofnewcolleagues.

ABusinessInvolvementGroupwhichisactivelyinvolvedin colleagueengagementandrepresentationthroughoutthe business,includingatBoardmeetings.

Development ofarobustperformancemanagementsystem that will measure achievement against business objectives andbehaviours,withaclearlinktoreward.

Atotalrewardreview,withbenchmarkingofallpayand benefit components and transparency on fair pay, includinggender,ethnicity,disabilityandage.

Creation ofanetworkofexternalalliestochampionour inclusionanddiversityagenda.

Change management capability considered aspecific leadershipskillrequiringinvestmentthroughtraining, toolkits andmethodology.

Planned investment inanHRinformationsystem.

Delivery ofadigital-specificapprenticeshipprogramme drivingdigitalliteracyandcapabilitybuilding.

 

BRAND, LOYALTY &CUSTOMEREXPERIENCE

An inability to evolve our brand appeal, customer experienceandSparksloyaltyprogrammewillimpact our success in retaining and attracting customers andexpandingthebusiness.

Consumer lifestyles andattitudescontinuetoevolve atpaceinanincreasinglydiversifiedandcompetitive retailenvironment.Afailuretoanticipateandkeepup with customer expectations would impact future tradingperformance.

Inaddition,theuncertaintyofthedurationofCovid-19and its longer-term impact on consumer behaviour, shopping habitsandspendingpower,isunknown,makingourability toplanandrapidlyreactmoreimportantthanever.

Evolving our Sparks programme in a way that resonates with our customers and helps inform business decisions remains a key objective. Combined with coordinating improvements across customer experience and personalisationthroughmeaningfulmeasuresofcustomer experience, data-driven marketing strategies and embedding Digital First behaviours, these are key enablerstobeingacustomer-centricbusiness.

 

Chief Digital & Data Officer in post to head Insights and LoyaltyprogrammesandtherecentlycreatedDigital&Data team focusing on loyalty, data science, digital product, customergrowthandinnovation.

Brand, marketing and product teams aligned with the operatingmodeltobetteraddressthespecificneedsof ourfamilyofbusinesses.

Improved online search functionality, enhanced end-to-end journey across M&S.com and stores for Click & Collect, and greaterpersonaliseddigitalproductsandmarketing.

Investment incapabilitytomeasurecustomerexperience throughintroductionofanend-to-endandmultichannel netpromoterscoreprogramme,supportedbythird-party expertise.

Completion ofareviewofourSparksloyaltyprogrammeto inform nextsteps.

Proactive monitoring ofsocialmediatoobserveandrespond totrendsincustomerexperience.

Initiatives launched inresponsetotheCovid-19lockdownto continuemakingproductavailablesafelytocustomers,for exampletherangeofM&Sfoodboxes,expansionofMobile Pay Go payment facility, introduction of M&S E-Gift Cards andshiftingfocustocontactlesshomedelivery.

Targeted use ofcelebrityengagementandhigh-impact sponsorshipofITV's'Britain'sGotTalent'.

 

 

The risks listed do not comprise all those associated with Marks & Spencer and are not presented in any order of priority. In addition to the risks disclosed, a wide range of lesser impacting risks and uncertainties that Marks & Spencer is exposed to, or could be exposed to in the near future, are actively monitored and managed. These less material risks are kept in view in case their likelihood or impact should show signs of increasing.

 

Further information on the financial risks we face and how they are managed is provided on pages 152 to 162.

 

Directors' Responsibility Statement

 

The 2020 Annual Report contains the following statements regarding responsibility for the financial statements in compliance with DTR 4.1.12. Responsibility is for the full Annual Report and Financial Statements 2020 and not the condensed statements required to be set out in the Annual Financial Report announcement.

 

The directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the Company's website. Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions. Each of the directors, whose names and functions are listed on pages 46 and 47 of the Annual Report, confirm that, to the best of their knowledge:

 

- The Group financial statements, prepared in accordance with the applicable set of accounting standards, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the Company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole.

- The Management Report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.

- The Annual Report, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable, and provides the necessary information for shareholders to assess the Group's performance, business model and strategy.

 

The Directors of Marks and Spencer Group plc are listed in the Group's 2020 Annual Report, and on the Group's website: corporate.marksandspencer.com/investors.

 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
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Data provided by FE fundinfo. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct, but FE fundinfo neither warrants, represents nor guarantees the contents of information, nor does it accept any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistencies herein. Past performance does not predict future performance, it should not be the main or sole reason for making an investment decision. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise.

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