Q2 food like-for-like sales at M&S up 3.7%

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Q2 food like-for-like sales at M&S up 3.7%

Related tags: Remainder, Macroeconomics

Marks & Spencer has notched up a 3.7% rise in like-for-like sales in its food division in the second quarter, but warned of rising commodity prices and a squeeze on consumer spending power.

The firm, which posted a 5.2% rise in total sales in its food division in the 13 weeks to October 2, said it was pleased with the figures but remained cautious about the outlook for the remainder of the year.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “More customers chose to shop at M&S in the quarter attracted by our improved value and continued investment in innovation. We launched 370 new [food] products, including exciting additions to our ready meal, grocery and biscuit ranges.”

He added: “We were the only retailer showing an improvement in customers’ perception of value in the period as we continued our popular programme of promotions such as ‘Dine In’ and ‘3 for £10’ on meat.”

Cautious outlook

However, trading conditions were likely to become more challenging as consumers’ disposable incomes were put under greater pressure from the proposed increase in VAT and public spending cuts, he warned.

“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.

“However, our unrivalled value, innovation and quality will ensure that we are well positioned to meet the changing needs of our customers through the all-important Christmas period and beyond.”

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