M&S sales up 4pc but warns of tough 2011

Marks & Spencer saw a four per cent rise in total UK sales in the 13 weeks to 1 January.

Clothing was the best performer with a 4.7 per cent jump over the period.

On a like-for-like basis UK sales were up 2.8 per cent.

Chief Executive Marc Bolland said: "Marks & Spencer traded well through the important Christmas period despite the severe weather as customers continued to return to M&S quality.

"We delivered a great Christmas for our customers, from our stylish occasionwear to our innovative festive food."

However, the retailer warned that 2011 would be a tough year.

"We continue to expect the trading conditions ahead to be more challenging as consumers' disposable incomes come under pressure from increased VAT rates and the impact of public spending cuts", it said in a statement.