April 21, 2017 / 1:37 PM / 4 months ago

Marks & Spencer retains Lindsay brothers as sourcing directors

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer has agreed a new contract with Mark and Neal Lindsay, the sourcing directors who have been instrumental in improving the British clothing retailer's profit margin, it said on Friday.

The brothers, who previously worked for Next, joined M&S in 2014 on a three-year contract. There had been speculation they would not sign another.

However, M&S Chief Executive Steve Rowe told staff in an internal memo they were staying.

"Mark and Neal have a wealth of experience in sourcing and it is great news for clothing & home that we can continue to leverage this experience as we deliver the key strategic priorities going forward," Rowe said in the memo, first reported by Sky News.

While M&S has struggled to deliver underlying sales growth in clothing, it has been successful in finding gross margin gains by changing the way it buys and makes its clothes.

When Rowe became CEO a year ago he continued to lead its clothing business, making a turnaround of the troubled division his top priority. However, he is expected to announce a new leader for the division soon.

Rowe was boosted in January when M&S reported a first quarterly increase in clothing and homeware sales in nearly two years. (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mark Potter)

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