Marks & Spencer's latest figures
The retailer reported like-for-like clothing and homeware sales fell 1.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to 1 July - a vast improvement on the 5.9 per cent decline suffered in the previous quarter, the retailer continued to battle a slump in clothes sales during the most recent quarter, as a rise in inflation started to eat into consumers’ wallets, but the fall was less severe than expected and overall sales rose.
The high street retailer, which is in the middle of a major turnaround programme, reported like-for-like clothing and homeware sales fell 1.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to 1 July, compared to the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts of 1.3 per cent. It was also a vast improvement on the 5.9 per cent decline suffered in the previous quarter.
Total sales in the segment were down 0.5 per cent at £2.3bn.
Its recently more resilient food division faced headwinds too, resulting in a 0.1 per cent fall in like-for-like sales, compared to analysts’ forecasts for a 0.6 per cent rise, but overall group revenue increased 2.7 per cent to £2.53bn. International sales grew by 5.8 per cent to £184.8m.
“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,” said chief executive Steve Rowe.
“In our food business, we delivered strong growth from new Simply Food openings, and are prioritising better ranging and stronger promotions,” he said.
Mr Rowe said that reduced discounting and no clearance sale during the quarter had helped to prop up results.