Marks & Spencer saw its shares fall by 2% in early trading on the back of a fall in profits in the last year.
Chief executive Marc Bolland, who has been in the job for three years, told investors last year that the prospect of better returns within a year was no "fairytale".
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The French far-right leader was due to meet with Lebanon's Grand Mufti.
Some small businesses face increases of as much as 300%, which business owners say could signal the end of the High Street.
He told People Magazine: "I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming."