The Great Debate UK

Not many Marks for the Rose Report


REUTERS– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

If a company’s health can be judged by the clarity of the statements it makes, Marks & Spencer is sick indeed. Its long, comprehensive and in parts incomprehensible statement with Tuesday’s figures is stuffed with jargon, phrases designed to cheer up the troops, while some key news is glossed over.

The dividend is not cut, but merely “rebased”, to provide “a stronger foundation for moving forward”. The group is “the only retailer not benefitting from food inflation”, which is one way of explaining away a margin squeeze.

The unexpected departure of Carl Leaver, considered one of M&S’s rising stars, is because “reverting to the key role of driving international does not fit his career aspirations.”

Greenbury’s Damascene conversion


– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

REUTERSSir Richard Greenbury has had a Damascene conversion. The former boss of Marks & Spencer tells The Times that he’s now in favour of continental-style two-tier boards, contrary to his own report into corporate governance 14 years ago.