M&S sales in slim rise thanks to food

Marks and Spencer sales were up slightly as rising food sales offset falls in other categories, it said in a trading statement.

Its like-for-like sales rose 0.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to 2 April.

General merchandise fell 3.9 per cent, but that was cancelled out by a 3.4 per cent rise in food sales.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: "We had a good fourth quarter in a challenging trading environment. In times like these customers are increasingly turning to M&S for value, quality and innovation.

"Strong products backed by great advertising meant we outperformed the market and grew share in both Food and Clothing."

Marks and Spencer was expected to suffer a sales fall as the high street struggles.

Its results for the full year to 2 April will be released on 24 May.

M&S previously announced a revamp of its homeware in a tie up with Conran designs.