"We have made strong progress over the quarter. In Food we delivered another excellent performance, with sales growth ahead of the market. We continued to deliver on General Merchandise gross margin, and are pleased that we have achieved this whilst also improving General Merchandise sales. M&S.com has returned to growth, as planned, with further improvement in customer metrics," Chief Executive Marc Bolland said in a statement.
In its trading statement for the 13 weeks to March 28, the company said its total UK sales increased 2.7 percent. On a like-for-like basis, UK sales edged up 0.7 percent. Total food sales improved 3.7 percent and like-for-like sales edged up 0.7 percent. Sales at general merchandise increased 1.3 percent on a reported basis, and like-for-like sales edged up 0.7 percent.
Clothing sales registered a growth, reversing the last 14 quarters' trend
In the quarter, total clothing sales grew 1.2 percent and like-for-like sales increased 0.6 percent. In Clothing, spring/summer ranges have been well received by customers, particularly the iconic suede skirt.
International sales on a reported basis declined 6.3 percent, and sales ex-VAT and constant currency basis decreased 3.8 percent. Its key priority markets such as India continue to perform well. M&S.com returned to growth and delivered a 13.8 percent rise in total sales, with website traffic, conversion and customer satisfaction continuing to improve.
The company is scheduled to report its full-year results on May 20.
In London, Marks and Spencer shares are currently trading at 530.50 pence, down 4.50 pence or 0.84% on a volume of 4.60 million shares. (DPA)