11% rise in UK sales for Marks & Spencer


Marks & Spencer recorded a 10.9 per cent rise in sales in the UK for the 11-week period to March 30th, 2002. Sales for the year to March were up 4.5 per cent. Like-for-like sales were up 10.6 per cent in the first 11 weeks, while, for the year, they were 4 per cent stronger.

"The impact of an early Easter, together with associated general merchandise promotional activity, was to add an estimated 3 per cent to general and 1.8 per cent to food sales for the quarter," it said.

The company did not break out figures for its Irish operations. However, it said turnover in the overseas businesses it was retaining fell by 3 per cent, resulting from weaker performances in Hong Kong and certain key franchises, which it did not name.

Sales of clothing, footwear, gifts and household products rose by 15.5 per cent, while food sales were up 6 per cent in the 11-week period. Food sales were 5.7 per cent stronger for the year, while general goods were up by 3.5 per cent.

Financial services turnover for the full year was down around 4 per cent and personal loan advances fell back in a very competitive environment, Marks & Spencer said.