Marks and Spencer (LON: MKS) has confirmed plans to sell its Hong Kong and Macau stores as part of its international overhaul.

The British retailer will be selling its stores in the area to long-term franchise partner Al-Futtaim for an undisclosed amount.

“We have substantially reshaped our international business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth,” said the international director, Paul Friston.

“As one of the world’s leading retail operators, with strong logistics capabilities and local expertise, Al-Futtaim is the ideal partner for us to develop and grow our business in Hong Kong and Macau.”

The Hong Kong and Macau stores will still be under the same name, under a franchise arrangement. Al-Futtaim will acquire 27 stores, totalling 72 outlets they now own across the Middle East and Asia.

Marks and Spencer is currently amid a large overhaul. The clothing and food chain announced last year plans to close 30 UK stores and change 45 stores into food-only outlets as the retailer is cutting back on floor space devoted to clothing.

The retailer also plans to close 53 loss-making overseas stores in 10 different countries including China, Belgium and Hungary. The closure will lead to 2,100 job losses.

Chief executive, Steve Rowe, said: “This is not about cutting jobs, it’s about making sure we’ve got the right estate for future shopping habits.”

He also announced last year plans to cut 500 jobs at the group’s head office in London and a plan to shift another 400 jobs out of the capital.

“These are tough decisions, but vital to building a future M&S that is simpler, more relevant, multichannel and focused on delivering sustainable returns,”

The group has said that it plans to further “reshape” the clothing and home departments in order to focus on the more successful locations. They also plan to focus more on online sales.