StockMarketWire.com - UK like for like revenue at Marks & Spencer was slightly up during the third quarter period to December 28, 2019, driven primarily by an outperforming food business.

The food business maintained the momentum seen in the first half of the year, with positive like-for-like revenue and further improvement in volumes.

It reported standout performance in the two-week Christmas period as customers responded to sharper value and more relevant innovation, the company has said.

Meanwhile, Clothing & Home saw an improved run rate from H1, reflecting strong initial customer reception of Autumn ranges with signs of continuing recovery in core Womenswear, offset by underperformance in Menswear and Gifting.

The Group has said that full year guidance remains unchanged, although gross margins are expected to be around lower end of guidance, largely offset by a cost reduction programme.

Steve Rowe, chief executive at Marks & Spencer, said: "We delivered an improved performance in Q3 across both main businesses. The Food business continued to outperform the market and Clothing and Home had a strong start to the quarter, albeit this was followed by a challenging trading environment in the lead up to Christmas.

"As we drive a faster pace of change, disappointing one-off issues - notably waste and supply chain in the Food business, the shape of buy in Menswear and performance in our Gifting categories - held us back from delivering a stronger result. However, the changes we made earlier in the year in Clothing have arrested the worst of the issues of the first six months and we are progressively building a much stronger team for the future."

Marks & Spencer will report full year results on May 20, 2020.



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