UK: M&S Has Not Ruled Out Another Share Buy-Back
UK retailer, Marks & Spencer, today defended its decision to undertake its first share buy-back in the company's history saying it marked "good business practice". The retailer, which has not ruled out another share buy-back "if market conditions were right", said the move should strengthen other shares. M&S bought back 2.16 million shares at 192-3/4p through Cazenove, its broker, on Wednesday earlier this week, a transaction which amounted to just over £4m. M&S shares recently hit a 10-year-low at 163p. M&S announced its intentions to buy-back some shares at the interim results meeting earlier this week. A spokesman for M&S said: "The buy-back will strengthen other shares and is good corporate business." Interim figures for M&S released at Tuesday's meeting showed a fall in half year profits. M&S also announced plans to axe six stores. Recent sales have been hit by adverse weather, transport and fuel conditions, but the down-at-heel department store chain is refusing to give into the middle-market high street crisis. It announced another bold initiative this week to increase sales in the crucial run-up to Christmas - performance-related pay for its 50,000 employees for the first time in the company's history. The bonuses will be worked out on a store basis. Employees of stores reaching sales targets set for November will receive a £75 bonus and the same for December, but only if they meet targets set for that month.
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