Marks & Spencer has made appointments at an Australian holding company, sparking speculation about an imminent launch in the country.

Marks & Spencer has appointed two directors to Marks & Spencer (Australia) Pty Ltd, a corporate entity that had been inactive for almost seven years.

The retailer is also on the hunt for stores in the country, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The two directors are Anthony Clarke, who is a Marks & Spencer assistant company secretary at group level, and Melissa Lovell, a lawyer at oil and gas firm Santos. A new registered office in Sydney was also established last week.

Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland aims to turn the retailer into an international multichannel business.

Australia has been targeted in recent years by British retailers such as River Island, Ted Baker and Topshop, which have all opened or are opening stores there. Asos launched an Australian site in 2011.

M&S already ships online orders to Australia, and is now reported to be seeking premises of around 2,000 sq m – smaller than its typical full-line stores at home.

No comment was immediately available from M&S.