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M&S plans £900m capital expenditure to boost sales

New chief executive unveils plans to target sales of between £800m and £1bn from its international o

Marks and Spencer's new chief executive Marc Bolland on Tuesday unveiled plans to bolster the company's overall brand image while targeting sales of between £800m and £1bn from its international operations, excluding the Republic of Ireland over the next four years.

Bolland, who joined M&S in May, elaborated in detail his strategic review for the retailer whereby the company will increase capital expenditure to £850m to £900m over the next three years to fund the plans.

Bolland's vision involves ditching its Portfolio fashion brand, stopping electrical products sales, scaling back the number of non-M&S food lines from 400 to 100, and revamping the retailer's website.

The company also announced a new marketing strapline - 'Only at M&S' - with the aim to distance the retailer from the "crowded, low-margin" supermarket-dominated part of the food market.

Further, the company will embark on an overseas expansion drive to reduce its "dependency on the UK economic cycle".
As part of the online growth, M&S will stop using Amazon as its online partner in 2013 and build and manage its own new platform for www.marksandspencers.com.

Bolland revealed his ambitious plans as M&S reported that pretax profit rose 17 per cent to £348.6m in the six months to October with overall sales rising 5.4 per cent to £4.56bn. Its interim dividend increased 12.7 per cent to 6.2p.