The head of clothing and home at Marks & Spencer has quit after less than two years with the company.

Jill McDonald's immediate departure means day-to-day running of the key division will be taken over by M&S chief executive Steve Rowe - a post he previously held prior to taking the top job.

Ms McDonald, who is a former chief executive of Halfords and boss of fast-food chain McDonald's in the UK, has struggled to turn around the almost continuous decline of M&S's clothing division.

At the company's annual shareholder meeting earlier this week, Mr Rowe told investors it had been a "troubled year" for her division, pointing out how a jeans promotion in February failed when customers did not buy enough stock.

READ MORE: Marks and Spencer to close 25 food stores under estate rethink

He said the problem meant M&S had "the worst availability in casual clothes I have ever seen in my life".

On Thursday, he said: "Jill was brought in to establish a strong platform for the transformation of the clothing and home business.

"She has achieved that; she leaves with my thanks and good wishes for the future.

"She has recruited a talented team, improved the quality and style of product and set a clear direction for the business to attract a younger family age customer."

He said: "The business now needs to move on at pace to address long-standing issues in our clothing and home supply chain around availability and flow of product.

"Given the importance of this task to M&S, I will be overseeing this programme directly."

READ MORE: New M&S stores to open in Scotland this year

In the year to March 30, M&S revealed her division saw sales fall by 3.6% - or 1.6% on a like-for-like basis - with the company blaming "weak availability in Q4 as we sold out of fast-selling lines and experienced supply issues".

At one point Ms McDonald was tipped as a potential successor to Mr Rowe.

At the time of her appointment, Mr Rowe said he had hired Ms McDonald for her "first-class customer knowledge and great experience in running dynamic, high-achieving teams".

She remains a non-executive at Holiday Inn owner IHG.

Jet2 owner Dart Group has reported a rise in annual profits after more people booked package holidays.

Shares in the travel group rose after it posted pre-tax profits of £177.5 million in the year to March 31, up 36% on the previous year, and said it is in line to meet forecasts for the new year.

READ MORE: Nearly 300 new jobs created as Jet2 launches new routes at Scottish airports

It also saw revenues jump by 32% to £3.1 billion as it was buoyed by increases in flight-only and package holiday customers.

Dart said its Jet2holidays business had 3.2 million customers on package holidays during the year, an increase of 27%.

However, during the second half of the year, operating losses grew as the company increased investment in new aircraft and marketing.

Dart also joined its industry peers in flagging increasing headwinds, due to rising fuel and carbon costs.

Shares in Dart Group were up 2.3% at 861.5p.

Morrisons has unveiled plans for a £2 million apprentice fund to help train the next generation of farmers.

The UK's fourth-biggest supermarket said the programme is aimed at addressing the current "recruitment challenge" facing the UK farming sector.

READ MORE: Morrisons to roll out same-day online grocery delivery service in Glasgow

Only 3% of UK farmers are under the age of 35, the retailer said.

The scheme will help to teach young people agricultural skills and provide mentoring from Morrisons' staff to understand the retail sector.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: "We are British farming's single largest customer and so it makes sense to invest our apprenticeship fund so that more new farmers can be trained to provide food for the nation."

Morrisons shares were flat at 206p after morning trading on Thursday.