M&S sales beat expectations
Like-for-like sales increased by 0.1% in the 13 weeks to 2 April. Sales of general merchandise fell by 3.9% but food sales rose by 3.4%.
Marc Bolland, chief executive said, “We had a good fourth quarter in a challenging trading environment. In times like these customers are increasingly turning to M&S for value, quality and innovation. Strong products backed by great advertising meant we outperformed the market and grew share in both food and clothing.”
M&S said it expected trading conditions to be “increasingly challenging” in 2011/12 due to pressure on consumers’ disposable incomes and higher commodity prices. Therefore, it was cautious about the outlook and would focus on remaining competitive and offering value for money.
The retailer said it was now embarking on the first phase of its plan to develop M&S into a leading international multi-channel retailer. “While the short-term trading conditions will be difficult, we have identified a clear path for long-term growth, and will continue to focus on delivering against our plan.”
Last week, M&S announced plans to return to France with new stores planned and the launch of a retail website.
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