August 21, 2019 / 7:09 AM / a month ago

Saudi retailer Fawaz Alhokair pulls out of M&S franchise partnership

DUBAI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co. has pulled out of its franchise partnership with British store group Marks & Spencer and has ended similar agreements with a number of “non-performing” brands, it said on Wednesday.

Alhokair posted first-quarter net profit of 224 million riyals ($60 million) down 10.1% from 249.2 million riyals a year earlier.

The firm, which owns franchise rights for brands including Mango, Zara and Banana Republic in the Middle East, said a decline in sales during the quarter was driven by the closure of non-performing stores and the disposal of weak brands as the group press ahead with a “portfolio optimisation strategy.”

Marks & Spencer (M&S) was not immediately available to comment outside of its business hours.

$1 = 3.7504 riyals Reporting by Tuqa Khalid; Editing by Mark Potter

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