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Third quarter is 'biggest ever quarter' for kidswear – M&S
Jan '12
Marks and Spencer Group Plc (M&S) reports sales results for third quarter.

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive said:

“Marks & Spencer performed well in a challenging trading environment.

“In Clothing our focus was on offering our customers real value at a time when they're managing their budgets carefully. Our trading strategy worked well, delivering a record performance in many categories including menswear and sleepwear.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our employees for their hard work in delivering a great Christmas for our customers.”

Clothing sales were up 1.1% as we continued to invest in offering our customers even better value. Customers continued to recognise our leading quality, resulting in our biggest ever quarter in kidswear.

Home sales were down 13.3%, primarily impacted by our decision to exit technology. Our key focus departments performed well, and the planned roll-out of new ranges and store layout later this year will provide a step change in our Home offer.

International sales were up 8.1%, reflecting continued growth in the priority markets of India and Shanghai, as well as in our franchise business. We had a very good start to our newly opened flagship store in Paris.

Our expectations for full year profit remain unchanged. Our decision to invest in promotions in General Merchandise will result in lower gross margin compared to previous guidance, but this will be off-set by additional savings generated by on-going tight management of costs.

In light of the ongoing macro-economic uncertainty, we expect trading conditions to remain challenging. We continue to be cautious about the outlook for the year ahead. Our focus will be on offering our customers great value and quality at a time when they are managing their budgets carefully.

Marks and Spencer Group Plc (M&S)

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