Food Sales Up 4% At Marks & Spencer In Q4
UK retailer Marks & Spencer saw its Food sales rise by 4.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of the year, according to a trading statement issued today (7 April).
However, like for like sales in its Food division were flat (0.0 per cent growth). In the statement, M&S said that its new store opening programme was performing ‘ahead of expectation’.
Overall, group sales for the quarter were up 1.9 per cent, while sales in its Clothing and Home division were down 1.9 per cent (LFL -2.7 per cent). International sales were up 3.8 per cent.
It was the first quarter under the management of recently-appointed chief executive Steve Rowe, who said he is "very proud and privileged to be leading M&S. We are focused on getting even closer to our customers and putting them at the heart of everything we do.
"We had a mixed performance in the final quarter of the year. Our Food business once again outperformed the market by c.3.5 per cent pts. Although the sales decline in Clothing and Home was lower than last quarter, our performance remains unsatisfactory and there is still more we need to do."
Commenting on its performance, analyst James Collins of Stifel said, "Q4 general merchandise trading is slightly better than we expected at c.-3 per cent LfL, an improvement from Q3's -5.8 per cent despite a lower promotional participation, a significantly tougher comp base and slower .com growth. As much as -3 per cent is not a good number, we think this is encouraging and supportive of our view that May's FY results will not herald a significant change in GM strategy."
Honour Westnedge, lead analyst at Verdict Retail commented that, "Rowe is rightly trying to continue the retailers move to reduce the level of items on promotion as well as sharpening prices, ensuring price points are attractive and provide shoppers with good value for money."
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.