Retailer Marks and Spencer has released an update for the 13 weeks to 30 March (release). Despite seeing general merchandise fall by 3.8 per cent in the UK, a four per cent increase in food sales as well as strong international and online shopping growth saw total sales rise. Group sales were up 3.1 per cent on a constant currency basis, the company's strongest quarterly sales growth in the last two years.
The firm stated that they expected pressure on consumers' disposable incomes in 2013 to continue and as such will remain cautious about the outlook for the year as a whole.
Marc Bolland, Chief Executive said:
We are working hard on improving our performance in General Merchandise and, despite difficult trading conditions, we made progress in our operational execution.
We delivered an excellent result in Food, with performance well ahead of the market, as customers continued to trust us for provenance and quality. We are increasingly seen as the destination shop for special occasions.