Marks & Spencer has sold its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau to its franchise partner Al-Futtaim as it retreats from international markets to focus on its core business in Britain, the company has said.

Al-Futtaim, which already operates 72 M&S stores across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East, purchased 27 shops in the deal, which completed on 30 December.

The move follows a strategic review by M&S in November 2016, in which the company laid out plans to shut more than 80 stores at home and abroad as well as to seek joint ventures and franchise partnerships.