RETAIL UPDATE: M&S enjoys solid Q1

Sales of general merchandise boost retailer, however outlook is cautious going forward.
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Marks & Spencer has reported some solid results for the 13 weeks to July 3rd.

Group sales for the period rose 4.4 per cent, while total UK sales were up 4.8 per cent, general merchandise up seven per cent and like for like UK sales 3.6 per cent.

Within general merchandise, clothing was up 7.4 per cent, home up 4.1 per cent and food up 2.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, M&S Direct had a strong quarter with sales up 49 per cent. The firm has now extended its 'Shop Your Way' multi-channel ordering service to over 400 stores, and launched a fully mobile enabled website.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said that M&S had made a good start to the financial year, however it remained cautious about the outlook for consumer confidence and spending going forward.

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