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Food and multi-channel  sales hold up for M&S

General merchandise drag the figures down as reported in the company’s first quarter, 13 weeks to 30 June 2012

CITY & CORPORATE

Food and multi-channel sales hold up for M&S

General merchandise drag the figures down as reported in the company’s first quarter, 13 weeks to 30 June 2012

Group sales  were down -0.7% and total UK sales down -0.9%. Food was +2.9% but general merchandise down GM -5.1%.International sales at actual currency were -3.5% as a result of the weakening Euro exchange rate.
 Like for like UK sales  are down -2.8% with food at +0.6% and general merchandise -6.8%. 
Multi-channel sales  were strong at +14.9%.

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive said,"Our Food business has again performed strongly. General Merchandise underperformed in a difficult trading season. We are confident we are taking the necessary steps to address this.
"We are pleased with the performance in Multi-channel and our key International businesses, which are continuing to make good progress.Our Food business performed well, despite a tough market and challenging comparatives. We maintained our focus on freshness, speciality and convenience. We continued to lead the way with high quality, first to market products, launching over 700 new products, including over 200 British inspired lines”.

"Clothing sales continued to be impacted by the merchandising issues in our Spring/Summer collections reported in April, but we have taken steps to strengthen the team, improve our buying and merchandising, and bring stock back on target for the Autumn/Winter season, which launches in stores later this month”.

“In Home our key departments of kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms delivered a positive performance. Other sales continue to be impacted by our decision to withdraw from technology as well as weak demand for big ticket items”.

“We continue to make good progress with the roll-out of our new store concept, which is being delivered on plan and on budget”.
“Multi-channel performed well with sales up 14.9%, ahead of the market. We launched a number of new initiatives aimed at improving our customers' shopping experience, including the re-launch of our mobile website”.

“Our key International markets in India and China continued to trade strongly with double digit growth. However, sales were impacted by currency translation of Euro denominated countries as well as continued macro-economic weakness in the Republic of Ireland and Greece and on-going restructuring of our Central European business”.

“While we expect the short term trading outlook to continue to be challenging, we are making strong progress against our goal of becoming an international, multi-channel retailer”.

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