The man credited with reviving the fortunes of UK high street giant Marks & Spencer, chairman and chief executive Luc Vandevelde, is expected to go part-time by the end of this year.

Several newspapers on Sunday claimed the 51-year-old Belgian will officially announce his decision at the firm's AGM on Wednesday, with the managing director of its UK retail operations, Roger Holmes, expected to take over the role.

Since Vandevelde joined the ailing retail giant two years ago, M&S has seen its sales and profits soar as consumers flock back to its outlets amid a massive store-refurbishment program and trendy new fashion ranges.