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Steady trading for Marks and Spencer

The Group's 3rd quarter interim management statement reveals that sales rose by 4%

CITY & CORPORATE

Steady trading for Marks and Spencer

For the 13 weeks to 1 January 2011  Group sales were up 4.0% with total UK sales also up 4.0%. General Merchandise up 4.4% (Clothing +4.7%; Home +2.7%).

Food sales were up 3.5% with the  biggest ever day in Food on Thursday 23 December with sales of more than £50m.

Like for like UK sales for the period were up 2.8%,  General Merchandise up 3.8% and Food up 1.8%.

Clothing market share was up 70bps to 11.8% with growth across all areas . In Food, market share was up 10bps to 3.9%. 600 new products were introduced during the quarter, including Christmas desserts and party foods.

M&S Direct sales were up 25% in the quarter and there was  the anniversary of the launch of M&S’s Shop Your Way service.

International sales were up 4.5%, reflecting a good performance across most of their markets offset by difficult trading conditions in Ireland and Greece.

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive said,"Marks & Spencer traded well through the important Christmas period despite the severe weather as customers continued to return to M&S quality.

"We delivered a great Christmas for our customers, from our stylish occasionwear to our innovative festive food. I would like to thank all our employees, in particular the store and operations teams, for doing a wonderful job in very difficult conditions to minimise the disruption to our customers."

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