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M&S home sales down 7.5% in Q4

Published: 17 April 2012
The retailer said the sector was "almost entirely impacted by our decision to withdraw from technology."
M&S home sales down 7.5% in Q4
Results from the 13 weeks to March 31, 2012, showed overall group sales up 0.8%, total UK sales up 1.2%, but overall like-for-likes down 0.7%, with non-food sales showing a LfL drop of 2.8%.

M&S Direct showed phenomenal growth with sales up 22.8% for the quarter, with bosses giving credit to "a number of new initiatives delivering an improved customer shopping experience." Although home was the poorest performing sector in terms of sales, the retailer said it was "pleased with the performance of key home departments of kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms."

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: "Marks & Spencer continued to make progress in a challenging market... Our food business has again performed well, especially in healthy food, whilst the general merchandise performance was more mixed.

"We have continued to manage costs tightly, and are confident of delivering full year profits in line with expectations. While the short term trading outlook continues to be challenging, we are focused on investing in line with our plan and are making strong progress against our goal of becoming an international, multi-channel retailer."

The retailer's plans for the coming financial year include adding 3% new footage to its UK presence and 20% to international space. Operating costs are expected to increase from 3 to 5% as a result of increased space, depreciation, inflation and growth initiatives offset by underlying savings.


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