Food sales grew by 4.2% (+1.7% on a like-for-like basis) at Marks & Spencer in Q1 2014/15, according to a quarterly trading statement issued this morning, however Clothing (like-for-like sales down 0.6%) and General Merchandise (like-for-like sales down 1.5%) are continuing to put a drag on the business.
Overall, Group sales were up 2.3% on a constant currency basis, while International sales were up 4.7%.
While it does not reveal figures for its Irish business, M&S said that "trading conditions in the Republic of Ireland continue to be challenging."
"Our Food business had a great quarter with our strategy to be more specialist setting us apart from the competition," said Marc Bolland, Chief Executive. "We continue to outperform the market as customers continue to come to us for unrivalled quality and innovation, whether for their special events or great everyday value.
"With value top of mind for customers, we remained price competitive while protecting our gross margin. We launched some 700 new products giving customers more choice than ever. We are on track with the pipeline of 150 new Simply Food stores opening over the next three years."
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones