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Marks & Spencer set to unveil 4% rise in annual pre-tax profits

Marks & Spencer is expected to unveil a 4% rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £628m tomorrow, according to reports.

The retailer’s full-year results, for the 52 weeks to 27 March, will be the last under current chairman Sir Stuart Rose, who is set to stand down from his role by March 2011. M&S staff will share a bonus of around £80m.

Marc Bolland, who joined as chief executive this month from grocer Morrisons, is expected to carry out a strategic review and announce plans for the retailer in the autumn.

However, analysts have warned that the new chief executive will have to make major changes. Investec Securities laid out a five point plan for the British retailer, calling for “radical measures” such as restructuring its property portfolio, speeding up its supply chain and implementing an an equity raise to strengthen its balance sheet and increase flexibility.

Meanwhile, Roger Carr, the former Cadbury chairman, has ruled himself out of taking over Rose, according to reports. Remaining candidates are understood to include former Lloyds chairman Sir Victor Blank, former Unilever chairman Niall Fitzgerald and Reed Elsevier’s former chief executive Sir Crispin Davies.

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