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October 7, 2010    

M&S echoes other retailers and issues cautious outlook

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by Kay Murchie

British retailing giant, Marks and Spencer (M&S), has today reported a rise in UK like-for-like sales of 5.3% in the 13 weeks to October 2.

Furthermore, the 126-year-old retailer which sells clothes, food and homewares, said total sales across the group grew by 6.5%, with international sales 6.2% higher.

Chief executive, Marc Bolland who joined the company in May from supermarket giant Morrisons, described it as a “good second quarter“ adding “customers are returning to quality.”

However, despite the positive figures, Mr Bolland said he was cautious. He joined other retailers by suggesting conditions are expected to remain difficult, as a result of the Coalition Government’s spending cuts, which will see consumers hit by a hike in taxes.

In the meantime, M&S said market share had increased across the business and sales have been boosted by promotions such as “Dine In” and “3 for £10″ on meat.

The rise in food sales will no doubt be a boost for M&S, which recently suffered due to strong competition from Waitrose.

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