Marks & Spencer today (9 January) claimed it maintained its share of the UK food market despite a fall in sales during its third quarter.

The retailer saw food sales dip 1.5% on a like-for-like basis after a “challenging” trading period in November and December.

Nevertheless, M&S said its share of food sales held steady at 4.3%, citing Superpanel data for the 12 weeks to 2 December.

“We expect trading conditions to remain tough throughout 2008,” chief executive Sir Stuart Rose warned.

Group sales rose 2.8% during the 13 weeks to 29 December.