Marks & Spencer Posts 3.9% Decrease In Group Sales In Third Quarter

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Marks & Spencer Posts 3.9% Decrease In Group Sales In Third Quarter

Marks & Spencer reiterated that its transformation plan is ‘on track’ as the retailer posted a 3.9% decrease in group sales in the third quarter of its financial year.

Total UK sales were down 2.7% to £2.78 billion for the period, while international sales were down 15.1% to £262 million.

In the UK specifically, its Food division saw a 1.2% decrease in sales (-2.2% on a like-for-like basis) to £1.68 billion, while its Clothing & Home division was down 4.8% (-2.4% on a like-for-like basis).

The group said that the like-for-like performance in its food business reflected ‘price investment and the transition to trusted value’, with signs of volume improvement seen during the Christmas period.

READ MORE: What leading retail analysts said about M&S' performance


‘Re-Engineer The Range’

It said that it started a journey to ‘re-engineer the range and value proposition’ in its food business six months ago, which has led to volumes increasing.

“Against the backdrop of well publicised difficult market conditions our performance remained steady across the period,” said chief executive Steve Rowe. “Our Food business traded successfully over Christmas as customers responded to improved value. Our transformation programme remains on track.

“The combination of reducing consumer confidence, mild weather, Black Friday, and widespread discounting by our competitors made November a very challenging trading period. However, overall our 13-week performance was steady with some early encouraging signs.”

Hong Kong Sale

The business said that its International performance reflects the impact from the sale of its Hong Kong business to its franchise partner and the ‘closure of stores in loss making exit markets’.


If these factors are excluded, its International division saw a 1.4% decline at constant currency levels.

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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