M&S to close 60 UK clothing stores as profits plunge to £231m

Updated: 

High street giant Marks & Spencer has said it will close around 60 clothing and home stores as it focuses on food, and warned of more than 2,100 job losses under plans to axe 53 overseas shops.

The retailer said the UK closures come as part of an overhaul which will affect around 100 stores as it looks to cut back on clothing and home while boosting its Simply Food chain.

Details of the restructure came as it said underlying pre-tax profits fell 18.6% to £231.3 million in the six months to October 1, while bottom-line profits crashed 88.4% to £25.1 million.

Chief executive Steve Rowe also outlined plans to shut 53 stores across 10 international markets - including 10 in China and seven in France, while pulling out of Belgium, Estonia, Hungary and Lithuania - putting around 2,100 jobs at risk.