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Marks & Spencer like-for-likes up 0.3% boosted by strong food performance

Marks & Spencer said its general merchandise division showed some improvement in the company’s first quarter while food continued its “excellent” performance.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Marks & Spencer like-for-likes up 0.3% boosted by strong food performance

In the 13 weeks to 29 June, group sales climbed 3.3%. Total UK sales increased by 2.7% with food sales rising 4.5% and general merchandise sales edging up 0.5%. 

UK like-for-like sales in the quarter rose by 0.3% while food sales increased by 1.8% on a like-for-like basis, although general merchandise sales fell by 1.6%.

Marks & Spencer said the general merchandise division had seen some improvement during the quarter despite difficult trading conditions and intense promotional activity in the market.

However, its food business enjoyed sales growth ahead of the market as the retailer’s operational execution continued to improve, delivering further increases in availability.

Marks & Spencer’s international business saw sales growth of 8.7% as the retailer performed well in most of its markets, particularly in India, China and the Middle East. 

Online sales climbed 29.9% with customers responding well to the improvements made to the service proposition such as free next day delivery to stores.  The retailer said its new web platform is on track to launch in Spring 2014.

Commenting on the results, Marc Bolland, chief executive said: “Our general merchandise business showed some improvement this quarter and the food business delivered another excellent performance, continuing the strong underlying trend.

“Our international business also performed well during the quarter and M&S.com sales were very strong.

“We continue to make good progress with our plans to transform M&S into an international, multi-channel retailer.”


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