M&S to accelerate change as profit falls 21%M&S to accelerate change as profit falls 21%
FILE PHOTO: The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Harpenden

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer said on Wednesday it would accelerate its latest turnaround programme as it dealt with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis and reported a 21% fall in annual profit.

The firm said in the light of the prolonged partial or total lockdown envisaged in its Covid-19 scenario, it had taken action totalling about 1 billion pounds ($1.23 billion) relative to its original budget to reduce costs and manage cash.

M&S made a pretax profit before one-off items of 403 million pounds in its year to March 28, down from 512 million pounds in 2018-19.

($1 = 0.8157 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle)