Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

M&S sales fall but beat expectations

Marks & Spencer’s UK like-for-like sales dropped 4.2% for the 13 weeks to March 28, a smaller drop than expected.

Total UK sales at M&S were down 0.3%, but clothing sales dropped 1% over the period. Total group sales were up 1.9%. The 4.2% like-for-like fall was less than the 7% drop that many City analysts predicted.

M&S executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose said the company had maintained its clothing market share over the full year.

He said: “In February, we introduced Portfolio and are pleased with the customer response to this new brand which we believe significantly enhances our womenswear offer.”

Rose added that the M&S kidswear offer had performed strongly in the quarter and that market share was at its highest level by both value and volume for seven years.

He said: “Our customers are responding positively to the actions we have taken, resulting in an improved sales performance this quarter in both General Merchandise and Foods.”

International sales rose 23% reflecting the ongoing integration of the operations of the Czech and Greek business partners and new store openings over the period. Online sales rose 20%.

M&S said that it expected UK retail gross margin to be around 175 basis points lower than last year, in line with previous guidance for 2008/09. Operating cost growth would be 4-5% and capital expenditure will be more than £700m.

Rose said: “While the outlook remains uncertain, we are confident that we are doing the right things for our customers.”

Full Year results and confirm our guidance for 2009/10 on 19 May 2009.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.