M&S group reported sales up 5.9% in 13wks to Dec. 31

Marks & Spencer said group reported sales in the 13 weeks to Dec. 31, 2016, were up 5.9%, in total terms, while in constant-currency terms they firmed 4.3%.

Total UK sales were up 4.5%, while on a like-for-like basis they rose 1.3%.

"I am pleased with the customer response we have seen to the changes we are making in line with our plan for the business," said CEO Steve Rowe.

"In Clothing & Home, better ranges, better availability and better prices helped to improve our performance in a difficult marketplace. We also continued to substantially reduce discounting, including over Black Friday.

"Our Food business continues to grow market share with customers recognising our product as special and different. Our Simply Food store pipeline remains strong.

"As we look forward, our Q4 reported numbers will be adversely affected by sale timing and a later Easter. Against the background of uncertain consumer confidence the business remains focused on delivering the strategic actions announced last year."

"Full year guidance remains unchanged. We continue to manage the business for the uncertain consumer outlook."