Marks & Spencer sales rise after strong Christmas performance

Marks & Spencer Group PLC
said Thursday that its performance over the Christmas period was strong, with a rise in third-quarter sales.

The U.K. retailer said that group sales for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 31 were 3.60 billion pounds ($4.37 billion), up 9.9% on year. A year prior it said sales in the period were GBP3.27 billion.

Food sales increased 10.2% on year to GBP2.11 billion and outperformed the market on volume and value in the four-week Christmas period for the second consecutive year, reaching its highest-ever recorded market share.

Clothing and home sales increased 8.8% to GBP1.18 billion, recording its highest market share in seven years.

U.K. sales rose 9.7% in the period to GBP3.29 billion while international sales rose 12.5% to GBP312 million, with strong retail sales growth in key franchise markets in the Middle East and India.

The company continues its reshaping program to become an “omnichannel retailer.” Click-and-collect orders increased 20%, and there was around 50% growth in third-party brand sales.

Continued focus remains on delivering the M&S Reshaped program to cut costs in the face of inflationary pressures, it said.

The company backed its profit guidance for the full year, despite macro-economic headwinds and underlying cost pressures.

For fiscal 2023, the company is expected to report pretax profit of GBP398.9 million according to an average of 21 estimates provided by FactSet. Sales for the year are forecast at GBP11.46 billion, also according to an average of 21 estimates provided by FactSet

“M&S sustained trading momentum through the peak quarter and both food and clothing & home have delivered strong growth,” Chief Executive Stuart Machin said.

Write to Kyle Morris at

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