M&S "outperformed" food market, chief executive Marc Bolland said

M&S "outperformed" food market, chief executive Marc Bolland said

Marks and Spencer today (10 April) reported slowing like-for-like food sales but eked out growth slightly above analyst forecasts.

The UK retailer posted a 0.1% rise in underlying food sales for its fourth quarter, which ran for the 13 weeks to the 29 March.

In its third quarter, M&S saw like-for-like food sales rise 1.6%. However, this year's later Easter dampened the results. Analysts had estimated M&S's fourth-quarter food like-for-likes would be flat year-on-year. Total food sales rose 2.5%.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: "Our food business had a great quarter, against tough comparatives. We outperformed the market once again."

Neil Saunders, MD of retail analysts Conlumino, said: "On the food front, M&S continues to post respectable numbers. Total growth looks healthy and although like-for-like sales are virtually flat, they need to be assessed against the backdrop of a low-to-no volume grocery market."

M&S will report its full annual results on 20 May.