M&S sales up – but warns over tough times ahead

Marks & Spencer has seen total group sales rise in the UK by 6.5 per cent in the second quarter but warned that trading in the coming months will get tougher.

Clothing rose by 7.8 per cent while homeware surged by 9.36 per cent in the 13 weeks to 2 October.

Marks & Spencer food sales went up by five per cent.

Chief executive Mark Bolland said: "Marks & Spencer has had a good second quarter, growing market share across all parts of the business. Customers are returning to quality. In Food they are responding well to our better value and innovation, and in Clothing are increasingly choosing M&S's great fashions and quality that lasts."

Meanwhile the company said in a statement: "Trading conditions ahead are likely to become more challenging. Consumers' disposable incomes will come under greater pressure from increased VAT rates and public spending cuts.

'We are facing increased commodity prices and significantly tougher comparatives in the second half. As a result we remain cautious about the outlook for the remainder of this year and next."