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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a760809

Pound and FTSE fall on surprise manufacturing blow

by Daniel Grote on Jul 08, 2014 at 11:08

Marks and Spencer Group (MKS) fell 5.5p, or 1.3%, to 427.7p after the retailer reported a 1.5% drop in sales in its general merchandise division over the first quarter of its financial year.  

Chief executive Marc Bolland blamed the group’s new website for the fall. ‘We have seen continued improvement in clothing although, as anticipated, the settling in of the new M&S.com site has had an impact on sales,’ he said. 

Analysts at Shore Capital labelled the results ‘another disappointing update for the company’. ‘The dot come fiasco, and that is what it looks like… leaves a bitter taste for investors to our minds,’ they said. ‘As such, it will still take some considerable amount of time for M&S to demonstrate that it can break the mould, grow its non-food offer, maintain market share and build earnings.’ 

Outside the FTSE 100 Connect Group (CNCTC) plunged after the newspaper distributor warned performance in its books division would be below expectations. Its shares fell 18.8p, or 9.8%, to 170p. Analysts at Liberum cut their price target on the stock from £2.20 to £2.

Mobile banking technology company Monitise (MONI) meanwhile fell 16.2% to 41.3p after the AIM stock lowered its full-year revenue growth forecast for the second time this year. It said it was hurt by the renegotiation of a small number of contracts that fell through.

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