LONDON — International sales and the Easter holiday lifted first-quarter revenue at Marks & Spencer Group by 2.7 percent to 2.53 billion pounds with revenue up 1.8 percent in constant currency.
The struggling clothing and home division dipped 0.5 percent to 852.1 million pounds in the three months to July 1, when the food division was up 4.5 percent to 1.4 billion pounds. Dollar figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the three-month period.
The company’s shares on the London Stock Exchange were down 1.9 percent to 3.33 pounds following Tuesday’s announcement.
“Trading in the first quarter was in line with our expectations, and we are on track with the delivery of the plan we announced last year,” said Steve Rowe, the company’s chief executive officer. He said M&S continued to grow full-price sales in the clothing and home division, with reduced discounting and no clearance sale in the quarter, compared with one last year. Full-price sales were up about 7 percent.
The summer sale starts Tuesday, a week later than last year, with terminal stock for the season significantly down, Rowe added.
M&S’ international revenue was up 3.8 percent, with retained, owned and franchise revenue increasing 9.4 percent. The company said, in keeping with plans set out last year, 28 of 53 M&S stores outside the U.K. have closed. As reported, the company plans to focus increasingly on its U.K. business and its food division.
Full-year guidance remains unchanged, and M&S plans to report interim results on Nov. 8.