Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

'Mixed' Performance For Marks & Spencer In Q3

'Mixed' Performance For Marks & Spencer In Q3

Tesco, which has been transformed by CEO Lewis following a 2014 accounting scandal, reported a 1.9% rise in like-for-like sales in its United Kingdom home market in the six weeks to January 6, below a forecast of 2.4-3.2%.

The group, which reset its strategy in November two months after Archie Norman joined as chairman, said clothing and homeware like-for-like sales fell 2.8 per cent in the 13 weeks to December 30th, its fiscal third quarter.

The figures are a further indication that Tesco's turnaround under chief executive Dave Lewis is firmly on track.

Marks & Spencer recorded a 1.1% uplift in United Kingdom revenue, but global sales were down 9.8%, reflected the completion of the planned closure of owned stores in loss-making markets.

Like-for-like (LFL) sales were up 2.3% for the 19 weeks ending January 6 this year across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The supermarket added that it handed 58m customer transactions and 770,000 online grocery deliveries in the key Christmas week.

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Marks & Spencer Group PLC on Thursday kept its full-year guidance unchanged despite a unspectacular third quarter, with both Food and Clothing underperforming despite some improvement in time for Christmas.

Mr Lewis said: "We have continued to outperform the market throughout this period, particularly in fresh food, thanks to our most competitive offer for many years".

Lewis said the collapse of the Palmer & Harvey tobacco supplier had taken "the shine off an otherwise outstanding performance for the period as a whole".

As with other retailers in the UK, Tesco is battling rising costs linked to devalued sterling, falling consumer confidence and increasing competition from discounters Lidl and Aldi. The results come after the latest Kantar data showed that the company was the fastest growing of the UK's big four supermarkets in the 12 weeks to December 31, while still growing behind the market.

Like-for-like growth in sales is an indicator for retailers' current trading performance and caused M&S shares to drop 5.6 percent.

Group like-for-like sales grew by 0.9% in Q3 and were up by 0.1% in the Christmas period.

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