LONDON — Marks & Spencer Group plc announced modest single-digit first-quarter sales increases on Wednesday during an annual meeting in which shareholders, even after prompting from the company’s chairman, chose talk about dress sizing over discussion of executive salaries.

The U.K. retailer said sales of clothing, footwear and gifts rose 3.9 percent in the first quarter ended July 12, compared with a 14.8 percent rise the year before, when the company was still riding the wave of an historic turnaround under the guidance of chairman Luc Vandevelde.

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