Employees of resurgent UK retailer Marks & Spencer will receive a windfall of GBP56m (US$108.19m) through gains made in the company's Sharesave schemes.

The increase in the M&S share value to over GBP7 means that almost 12,000 employees, mainly store staff, will receive gains on their investments ranging between GBP1,000 and GBP45,000, the company said. The Sharesave scheme offers employees the opportunity to share in the growth of the company by saving on a monthly basis for a fixed term and using this to buy shares discounted by 20% at the market price.

Chief executive Stuart Rose said: "We're delighted that so many of our people have benefited from Sharesave this year and that their faith in M&S and their hard work has been rewarded."

M&S has seen its share price increase as its performance improves. The strongest sales growth over the Christmas period is likely to be seen in general merchandise, with an anticipated like-for-like sales rise of up to 9%. There is expected to have been a 3-5% increase in food sales over the period.