UK retailer Marks & Spencer has posted a 1.4% decline in like-for-like sales in its home market in its third quarter, with Food sales down 0.4% and Clothing & Home sales down 2.8%.
Total group sales were down 0.1% overall, while international sales were down 9.8%.
Commenting on the group's performance, Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer chief executive said, “M&S had a mixed quarter with better Christmas trading in both businesses going some way to offset a weak clothing market in October and ongoing underperformance in our Food like-for-like sales. As a result, full year guidance remains unchanged.”
Earlier this week, Marks & Spencer announced that Humphrey Singer, currently group finance director at electronics retailer Dixons Carpohone, will be its new chief finance officer.
M&S said that 'ongoing trading pressures' in the group's food business continued in the lead up to Christmas, as a result of customers' tighter budgets.
"Price investment before Christmas and a strong performance from seasonal lines helped late trading," Rowe commented. "As outlined at our Interim results, we are making further changes to get the business back on track in the year ahead."
In Clothing & Home, meanwhile, while revenue grew in-store and online in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the performance was hampered by an unseasonably warm October, which meant the retailer carried more stock into the December sale.
On its International performance, M&S noted that the decline was due to the closure of owned stores in loss-making markets. In retained owned and franchise markets, constant currency revenue was up 6.5%, the retailer said.
“We continue with the accelerated transformation programme we outlined in November and have recently taken several important steps to reshape the business for the future," Rowe commented.
"These include a new technology partnership and organisation, and the sale of our Hong Kong based business in line with the streamlined franchise-led model we are adopting for International.”
Marks & Spencer reports its full year results on 23 May.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.