Strong set of figures reflects strategy to put retailer into consistent growth

It was a good Christmas for M&S Food

It was a good Christmas for M&S Food

M&S has reported strong growth figures over the crucial Christmas trading period.

The upmarket retailer, which traditionally overindexes on food over the festive period as shoppers trade up, reported third-quarter food sales of £2.3bn, up 9.9 per cent on a like-for like basis.

Total group sales were up 7.2 per cent at £3.9bn, with UK sales up 8.5 per cent, and 8.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis

Chief executive Stuart Machin said that the retailer’s strategy to reshape M&S for growth had built sales momentum in both the Food and Clothing & Home divisions over Christmas.

”In Food, we led the market on volume growth every month with a c.7 per cent increase across the quarter, and served more customers than ever before,” he said. ”Core categories grew strongly and renewal stores, which cater to larger basket shops, performed particularly well, as more customers looked to us for more of their full shop.

”Underpinning the strong performance in both businesses is our commitment to trusted value – unbeatable M&S quality at the best possible price. In Food, we inflated below the market, with quality perception increasing further.

”We enter 2024 with a spring in our step, but clear eyed on the near-term challenges. We are determined to deliver our objective of driving 1 per cent growth in market share in both businesses and to up the pace of our transformation: keeping a relentless focus on trusted value; accelerating our store rotation and renewal plans; doubling down on our supply chain programmes to improve availability and lower costs; and resetting our data, digital and technology strategy to unlock benefits in future years.”