Marks & Spencer sales soar by 6.8%

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Marks & Spencer today reported like-for-like sales rose by 6.8% over the three months to April, well ahead of market expectations


The UK's largest retailer said like-for-sales in general merchandise, such as clothing, were up 8.2%.

A general slowdown in consumer spending since January has harmed sales at chief rival Next, but M&S appears to have come through relatively unscathed.

M&S said like-for-like sales in food rose 5.6% while pre-tax profits for the current financial year were expected to be in the range of £745 million to £755 million.

Chief executive Stuart Rose, who was parachuted into the hot seat after Bhs owner Philip Green launched a £9 billion takeover campaign in the summer of 2004, is widely credited for masterminding the recovery in the retailer.