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M&S Analysis


Submitted By Goodwill
Words 2277
Pages 10
Part 1
1. Introduction

I chose topic 8 because analysis and interpretation of business and financial performance has interested me and I want to learn more about and it is the topic I feel most comfortable with having completed my ACCA studies. Writing reports and analysing business performance was covered in papers F7 and P3 and through this report I will have the opportunity to enforce practically the knowledge acquired.

Moreover undertaking this research project will improve my performance at work and enhance my professional and communication skills. I work in accountancy practice and this project will be invaluable experience.

I decide to write a research project on Marks & Spencer plc. and the reason being is that I had carried out an investigation on this company before and I have preliminary knowledge on its activities and the sector in which operates. Marks & Spencer is well known and reputable retailer which I personally favour as a customer.

Marks and Spencer Group plc. is an international multi-channel retailer with headquarters in London, in the City of Westminster .It carries out the retailing of apparel, home products and food items. It was started as a Penny Bazar 1884 in Leeds selling only British made goods (Enc. Britannica,2004) As of 30 March 2013 the Company’s product were sold through 766 UK stores and 418 stores internationally (, 2013)

1.1.2 The reason for choosing the John Lewis Plc. as the comparator company

John Lewis was selected as a comparator company because it is a public company, operates in the same industry; it is of a similar size and has comparable growth characteristics. John Lewis is also based in the UK but it is an employee-owned partnership which operates John Lewis department stores and Waitrose upmarket groceries stores. It was found that John Lewis is popular for its good reputation, customer service and quality products in all main categories. In the past John Lewis as well as M&S was targeting upper-class shoppers. Recently, John Lewis and M&S have introduced value ranges which have broadened their customer base.

1.2. Aims and objectives of the research approach

The objectives of this research are to critically evaluate the business and financial performance of Mark and Spencer and to determine the long term strategic goals of the company. In summary

* To evaluate the financial performance of Marks and Spencer plc.’s based on the last three financial years ending on 02 April 2011, 31 March 2012 & 30 March2013. * To understand Mark and Spencer plc.’s medium and long term business strategy * To evaluate Mark and Spencer plc.’s business performance based on the three financial years ending on 31 March 2011, 2012 &2013.

1.3 Research questions to answer in my RAP

I am aiming to achieve these objectives by answering the following questions:

* How has Marks and Spencer plc performed compared with its competitor John Lewis plc? * How the recent economic climate has affected the company strategy? * To what extent have Mark and Spencer plc. been able to achieve its strategic?

1.4 Primary research

Primary research is data specifically collected for the research by the researcher. It is reliable, accurate and up to date. Primary data is gathered through interviews and surveys. However, there is no requirement to use primary date and due to limited time and resources primary date was not consider for this project.

1.5 Secondary research

Secondary data is investigated and published by other researches in this field. In my research I used internal data available from company’s web site and press release and external data collected from journals and internet sources. It is readily available, easily accessible and less time consuming.

Having in mind the limited time and financial resources, the following report was completed by undertaking broad secondary research. To ensure that the information examined is valid and relevant I have referred to my ACCA text books and reputable website.

Firstly, I examined M&S and John Lewis websites and obtained copies of their financial statements for the last 3 years. Secondly, to evaluate financial performance I calculated various ratios such as profitability, liquidity, gearing and investment ratios. Comparing the ratio analysis to the previous year’s results will provide me with meaningful information from which I will be able to draw sound conclusions. The ratio formulas and technical data will be extracted from ACCA F7 Financial Reporting text book and other .

The business performance will be assessed by using the relevant accounting models such as carrying out SWOT analysis. This model is used to determine the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and treats the business faces in the current economic climate. I then will evaluate M&S business strategy using press release from their website and financial statements extracts. Finally, I will use newspaper articles and relevant websites to research the effects of the recession on Mark and Spencer plc.’s performance.

Part 2

2. Information gathering and accounting and business techniques-2000 words

2.1 Sources used and reasons

This report was undertaken by using a variety of sources to ensure that the information included is objective, reliable and accurate such as:

Annual Report and Financial Statements for year 2013, 2012 and 2011.
The main information source for this research is the company annual report and financial statements for 3 years period .This was downloaded from Marks & Spencer and John Lewis websites. Press Releases from the company website were also used as a source. Marks and Spencer and John Lewis are public companies and their financial statements are audited. This contributes to the reliability and accuracy of this information. The financial statements on its own are limited source unless they are compared to the industry standards or comparable company. To overcome this I had used a comparable company do that my conclusions are meaningful.

Text books
ACCA books F7 Financial Performance and P3 Business Analysis were used to gain the technical knowledge I needed for the research. Financial data was extracted from Marks and Spencer and John Lewis’ financial statements into spreadsheets and various ratios calculations were performed. The results were compared to the figures available from the companies’ websites to check for accuracy.

Ratio calculations do not provide a complete picture of the company performance. In addition I had to read about the current economic climate, trend and anomalies to be able to explain the movements from one year to another.

The non- financial data of Mark and Spencer performance was evaluated using SWOT analysis. The information was assessed by looking at the internal and external factors influencing the business. The limitation of this model is that what M&S may regard as weaknesses/strength may not be perceived in the same way by its customers. To ensure that this model remained relevant I had included internal factors which were pointed by the M&S customers through their customers feedback.

Business Research by Collis J and Hussey R was used as a general guide on how to undertake a research project for undergraduate and the different phase of such a project.

Kaplan Publishing UK Project Guide was mainly used to learn how to write the research project and the Skills and Learning statement and prepare myself for the presentation. It has assisted me in generating useful ideas for the presentation and analysis of this report. It included details on areas which were not relevant to my research such as how to collect primary data or prepare for presentation face to face. I skimmed read these chapters.

Media sources
Internet was another preferred source of information. However, due to the vast amount of data available I had to decide what information to use based on its relevance and reliability. It was found that reliability can be placed on media sources such as The Times, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Guardian and Independent newspapers. These were used for specific reading about Marks & Spencer as well as general reading around the subject area and general retail market conditions.

Websites such as BBC and other news channel provided information on current business affairs and current prevailing economic conditions.

Encyclopedia Britannica
The encyclopedia was consulted as general reference. It provided an overview of Marks & Spencer Group plc. history and current information.

ACCA Accounting magazines & Articles
The ACCA accounting magazine publishes articles about Oxford Brooks’ research project which are used as a check list against common failing points to ensure that these are avoided when compiling the report. These are also used as general guidance on the project.

Kaplan Online Library
Kaplan online library was used to access electronic books. The books which I included in my research are Business Ratios and Formulas by Steven Bragg and The Financial Analysis & decision Making by D Vance.

Information Gathering is one of the key assessment criteria for the RAP and so it is vital that I undertook extensive research to demonstrate my graduate skills needed to pass the RAP.
All sources were referenced carefully in my List of References, using the Harvard Referencing System.

2.2 Methods used to collect data

I collected the ACCA text books and the business research book from the local library. I have used KOL’s online library to gather information. I visited reputable websites to ensure all information access is reliable. In addition, I visited other website to compare the information available for M&S and different point of view for the company. I will refer to my ACCA study texts to gain the relevant technical knowledge I need.

2.3 Limitation of date collected

Marks and Spencer’s website was my main source of information. The information published on their web site would want to present the company at its best. This may render the information subjective and favourably biased. In order to overcome this issue I read about M&S financial and business performance from various sources so that I could form a balanced opinion.

Financial statements are prepared based on historic information which may not be that relevant as the time goes by. It was found that this is very important in the retailing industry where sales are influenced by seasonal trends and special celebrations.

The interpretation of ratios is also limited because is based on the financial statements. Financial statements and ratios are subject to manipulation and this would affect the ratio calculations. The change of accounting policy would be an example of such manipulation. Ratios are influenced by the choice of accounting policy and comparing ratios to a rival company may be meaningless if different accounting policies adopted.

This project is prepared based on secondary data, data which is not specific to the objectives of this project. This data may be out of date and not that relevant given the time elapsed. I used only most up to date sources I found to ensure accuracy.
I am aware some websites can be subjective and provide controversy information – to overcome this difficulty I only used reputable websites.

I found that not all information available online is for free. Access to research companies’ reports on the retailing business and financial performance required monthly subscription. This was the case for magazine and websites such as the Economist.

There was a vast amount of information online published for Marks and Spencer and John Lewis and so it was easy to carry on collecting information. To overcome this problem I focused on the information relevant to my research questions.

2.4 Ethical issue and resolution

The research carried out on M&S and John Lewis will be based on secondary data which may be biased and subjective. To overcome this issue I used a range of sources such as articles from independent sources and the company own press releases. This was reviewed to establish its relevance and objectivity to my project. This helped me formed a balance opinion based on the gather information.
Plagiarism is a danger when using secondary resources. The information collected from online sources and based on other’s people point of view and as such this increases the risk of plagiarism. To manage this risk effectively the sources used are referenced using the Harvard Referencing system. This will enable me to demonstrate the key graduate skill of Referencing which is an important requirement for the research.

2.5 Business and Accounting Techniques used to analyse Marks &Spencer plc.’s performance

Ratio Analysis

Ratio analyses are one of the main accounting techniques used to assess the performance of the company and identify potential problems. Each ratio informed about factors such as profitability, efficiency, debt etc. of the business. They simplify the comprehension of financial statements.

Ratios are meaningful when the results are compared to a business of similar size and activity or to the industry standard. Financial performance of M&S is analysed by using profitability, liquidity, gearing and investment ratios. The definitions of ratios are provided in the analysis and the formulas are mentioned in the Appendices of this project. The results of the ratio analysis are compared to John Lewis in order to draw a meaningful conclusion on the overall performance.

SWOT Analysis

Summarises the key issues from the business environment and the strategic capability of an organisation that are most likely to impact on strategy development.(BPP Learning Media, 2009,p108)

SWOT analysis is used to identify the key internal weaknesses and strengths of Marks and Spencer Group plc. as well as the opportunities and threats it faces. This helped me to explain the reasons behind Marks and Spencer plc’s key financial ratios.

Part 3

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...ANALISIS FAKTOR-FAKTOR YANG MEMPENGARUHI KEPUTUSAN PERMINTAAN KREDIT PADA PT BANK TABUNGAN NEGARA CABANG MEDAN Arlina Nurbaity Lubis1 dan Ganjang Arihta Ginting2 1 Staf Pengajar FE-USU 2 Alumni FE-USU Abstract This research aim to know and analyze factor influence level of interest rate KPR and customer service to demand decision of KPR at Bank Tabungan Negara, Co.Ltd Branch of Medan, and know factor having an effect on most dominant to demand decision KPR at Bank Tabungan Negara, Co.Ltd Branch of Medan. The research method applied is descriptive analytical method and multiple regression analytical method. Sample applied in this research is client using product KPR at Bank Tabungan Negara, Co.Ltd Branch of Medan are 73 by using purposive sampling. The Result of this research indicates that independent variable applied that is factor of interest rate credit and customer service simultaneously has significant influence to variable dependent that is demand decision of KPR at Bank Tabungan Negara, Co.Ltd Branch of Medan. The Result of this also indicates that customer service factor is which most dominant influences demand decision of KPR at Bank Tabungan Negara, Co.Ltd Branch of Medan. Keywords: demand decision of KPR, interest rate, and service A. PENDAHULUAN membutuhkan rumah. Pada sisi lain, sebagian masyarakat tidak mampu membeli rumah secara tunai, Latar Belakang sehingga ini menjadi peluang bagi...

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...when lide has rerely benn tougher for manufacturers in the developed world, miele’s strategy for survival is to break almost all the rules. The german company, a global leader in high-quality domestic appliances such as washing machines and vacum cleaners, is renowned for its exavting manufacturing standards and its refusal to move down-market and compete on price. Miele bases nearly all its manufacturing in high-cost Germany and is self-sufficient to a high degree. Rather than outsource to low-cost supliers, it makes 4m electric motors ayear (enough for all its products) in its own plant near cologne. Which it says is essential to maintain its quality standards. Sales last year werw E2.2bn (L1.5bn) The approach commands respect among miele,s industry peers. ‘it is the Rolls-Royece of the industry, with a fantastic position at the top end,’ says Andrea Guerra, chief executive of Merloni, the italian white goods maker. But the domestiic appliance sector is one of europe’s most competitive and inevitably questions are being asked about how long miele can stick to what many see as its old-dashioned ways, before succumbing to lower-costt rivals. In fact, whether miele survives in its current form over the next decade will be an important test case for the whole of european manufacturing. The company sells appliances ranging from dishwashers to coffee machines, most commanding a price premium of up to 70 per cent over the competitors’ wares. It spends 12 per cent of its revenue on...

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Marks & Spencer: an Analysis of the Demand for a M&S Simply Food Convenience Store in Complexe Desjardins

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