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Weekend newspaper round up: May 17-18

The best of the fashion and retail stories from the weekend's newspapers...

Marks & Spencer is set to slash staff bonuses despite posting profits of around £1 billion, according the weekend's newspapers.

Saturday's Daily Mail said that the M&S staff bonus pot could be cut to as little as £20m in the wake of the high street slowdown and drop in the retailer's share price. Analysts forecast between £965 million and £989m in profits for the year, the newspaper says.

The Sunday Times said that M&S was likely to announce profits of more than £1 billion, the highest for over a decade, tomorrow. The board directors, including chief executive Sir Stuart Rose will not receive a bonus. Rose received a £1million cash bonus last year, but the company is understood to have missed the tougher financial targets set for this year.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that M&S's senior independent director Sir David Michels has started interviewing potential successors to replace chief executive Sir Stuart Rose, who plans to retire in 2011. Michels, who will become deputy non-executive chairman when Rose becomes chairman in July, will spend the next six months getting to know senior executives at the business before advancing the selection process, the newspaper said.

High street retailers are gearing up for heavy discounting in summer Sales, according to The Sunday Express. The newspaper reported that businesses including John Lewis and Debenhams were planning discounts of more than 50% to combat tough trading.

The Observer also reported that M&S would post its highest profits since 1997, but would cut its staff bonus because it missed targets set before the credit crunch. It added that the retailer expects the downturn to last until 2010. It said that clothing sales were thought to be down by 4%.

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