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What the weekend papers said

Media reports were split over the fortunes of Marks & Spencer over Christmas ahead of the retailer's third quarter results on Wednesday.

Both The Financial Times and The Sunday Times said the retailer would disappoint when it reports. The Sunday Times said M&S would report its worst Christmas for two years while The FT predicted flat or negative underlying sales growth, meaning the retailer may miss out on hitting the £1bn profit mark this year and with the latter claiming the chain will report its worst Christmas trading in two years.

By contrast The Mail on Sunday and The Independent on Sunday said M&S' trading update would give the high street some much needed good news. The Independent on Sunday said the chain was expected to reveal that same store sales leap by 1% over the period while The Financial Mail on Sunday said that the chain was expected to burst through the £1 billion profit ceiling this year.

Separately The Sunday Express reported that thousands of jobs were at risk at Stead & Simpson after the shoe chain was forced to consider administration or a break up of the business. Bids for the business are due early this week but chances of a straight sale of the 350 store business are unlikely.

The Sunday Telegraph said that Charles Tyrwhitt, the shirt brand, was planning to appoint advisors ahead of a float in the second half of the year. Founder Nick Wheeler is seeking to list on Aim later this year to raise capital to expand the chain from nine shops to 50 stores.

The Mail on Sunday said that former pop star and TV presenter Louise Redknapp had been appointed to the board of www.my-wardrobe.com. The etailer also recently appointed Luisa de Paula as buying and merchandising director. She previously held buying roles at Liberty and Selfridges.

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