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Marks & Spencer slows decline in clothing and home sales

Marks & Spencer has reported a 0.5% drop in UK like-for-like sales in its first quarter after the rate of decline in its clothing and home sales slowed.

DEPARTMENT STORES

Marks & Spencer slows decline in clothing and home sales

Marks & Spencer has reported a 0.5% drop in UK like-for-like sales in its first quarter after the rate of decline in its clothing and home sales slowed.

In the 13 weeks to 1 July, UK like-for-like clothing and home sales dropped by 1.2%. This compares to a 5.9% fall in the previous quarter. In line with strategy, full price sales in the category were up around 7% as the retailer reduced the number of promotions. In addition, there was no clearance sale in the quarter compared with the same period last year.

While UK food revenue increased by 4.5%, like-for-like sales edged down 0.1%. Marks & Spencer said its new Simply Food stores is continuing to perform ahead of expectations.

Meanwhile, total sales cross the company climbed by 2.7% to £2.53 billion. This included a 3.8% increase in international sales.

Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe said: "Trading in the first quarter was in line with our expectations and we are on track with delivery of the plan we announced last year. I am pleased that we continue to grow full price sales in Clothing & Home, with reduced discounting and no clearance sale in the quarter. In our Food business, we delivered strong growth from new Simply Food openings, and are prioritising better ranging and stronger promotions."

The company said its full year guidance remains unchanged.

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