LONDON Marks & Spencer Group plc said sales in the first quarter rose 3.2 percent thanks to gains in general merchandise and food. Sales in the U.K. rose 2.7 percent.

M&S released percentage figures only for the 13 weeks to July 2, and will release a more complete set of figures in the autumn.

Marc Bolland, the company’s chief executive officer, said tailored clothing and underwear performed particularly well, as did a collection called Fashion Brights that made it from sketchpad to shop floor in six weeks.

He said that M&S expects trading conditions to remain challenging due to pressure on U.K. consumers’ disposable incomes and higher commodity prices.

“As a result, we remain cautious about the outlook. Our focus will be on remaining competitive, and offering our customers great value and quality at a time when they are managing their budgets carefully,” he said.

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