Business

Marks & Spencer non-food sales fall

  • 5 November 2013
  • From the section Business
Marks & Spencer
M&S launched its autumn/winter ranges in September

High Street retailer Marks and Spencer has reported a fall in sales of non-food items in the first half of the year.

Like-for-like sales in non-food items were down 1.5% compared with the same period last year. The retailer launched its autumn/winter ranges in September.

Food sales were up 2.5%, while pre-tax profits came in at £280.6m - virtually unchanged from a year ago.

M&S said it remained cautious for the rest of 2013.

Chief executive at M&S Marc Bolland said the company continued to invest in the "long-term transformation" of the business.

He said: "We are pleased with the progress made, given the high level of activity and a number of key projects launching this year.

"This has led to a higher level of additional costs, which while planned for, have impacted short-term results."

The 129-year-old company said although consumer confidence was "improving", it had yet to translate to the High Street.

M&S's new autumn/winter range was led by an advertising campaign featuring some of Britain's most high-profile female celebrities, including Tracey Emin and Dame Helen Mirren.

Reacting to the results, deputy editor at Drapers Magazine, Anna Santi, told the BBC: "Christmas will be absolutely crucial, and if they don't have a good Christmas I think investors will be concerned."

She also said M&S clothes may have become "too expensive", and that Primark does better in balancing quality and price.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites