LONDON — Marks & Spencer reported group sales at constant currency gained 2.3 percent in the 13 weeks to June 28.
U.K. sales climbed 2 percent in the quarter, and 0.3 percent on a same-store basis. Sales growth chiefly came from the retailer’s food business, which was up 4.2 percent, or 1.7 percent on a same-store basis.
M&S reported only percentage figures.
Sales of general merchandise, of which clothing is part, fell 0.8 percent in the quarter, with same-store sales down 1.5 percent. Clothing sales edged up 0.1 percent in the quarter. On a same-store basis, they fell 0.6 percent.
Marc Bolland, chief executive officer of M&S, said that the retailer has seen “continued improvement,” in its clothing sales, particularly full-price sales of women’s wear.
But online sales tumbled 8.1 percent in the quarter. Bolland noted that the “settling in” of its Web site, which relaunched in February, had also impacted clothing sales. The retailer said it’s now focused on “optimizing the Web site commercially."
In terms of the broader clothing category, M&S said that its less promotional stance online and in its stores had affected sales performance, “particularly online.” But the retailer said as a result, it is scheduled to deliver its full-year gross margin guidance.
International sales gained 4.7 percent at constant currency rates and 0.1 percent at actual currency rates.
Looking ahead, M&S said that its full-year guidance remains unchanged, noting that “despite some improvement in consumer confidence, market conditions remain challenging.”
M&S’s annual general meeting is set to take place later today.
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