Bolland: pleased with food results

Bolland: pleased with food results

Food sales were the high point for UK retailer M&S after the retailer posted disappointing quarterly financial results earlier this week.

The supermarket’s like-for-like food sales rose by 0.6 per cent with total food sales climbing 2.9 per cent over the 13 weeks ending June 30.

Marc Bolland, chief executive said: "Our food business has again performed strongly. We are pleased with the performance in multi-channel and our key international businesses, which are continuing to make good progress."

M&S multi-channel and international sales increased by 14.9 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.

Bolland added: "Our key international markets in India and China continued to trade strongly with double-digit growth.

"Sales were impacted by currency translation of euro-denominated countries as well as continued macro-economic weakness in the Republic of Ireland and Greece and ongoing restructuring of our central European business."

Despite the success in its food business, overall like-for-like sales were down 2.8 per cent between April and June, with total group sales falling by 0.7 per cent.

However, the performance of the company's rivals seems to have been strong in June with the British Retail Consortium reporting a nationwide like-for-like retail sales increase of 1.4 per cent, boosted by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The results overall come as a disappointment to M&S, which saw the company report its first fall in annual profits for three years in May.

Pre-tax profits for the year to the end of March were £658m (€831m), down 16 per cent from the previous year's £781m (€986m).

John Ibbotson of financial consultancy Retail Vision said: "Only its food department stayed afloat amid a deluge of bad numbers. SOS M&S - that's the inescapable conclusion to be drawn."