Marks & Spencer has posted a 1.5% increase in like-for-like sales in its food division in the 13 weeks to July 3, and a 2.9% rise in total food sales over the period.
The firm, which said it was adopting a cautious outlook following the proposed rise in VAT and other measures to reduce the deficit, said: "In food we have continued to outperform the market on a like-for-like basis, as customers continued to return to quality."
"We stepped up our emphasis on innovation, launching 570 new products including our Grill and summer dessert ranges. We offered our customers great value and ran several successful promotions."
Investec Securities said the like-for-like figures were slightly below its forecasts: "We had anticipated a World Cup/weather-related benefit for food in June to offset the 1.4% drag from Easter timing, but industry data is indicating that effect was muted.
"Like-for-like growth of 1.5% was in line with consensus, but below our forecast of 2%. Space growth here was 1.4%, which was slightly more than expected."