LONDON, April 11 British retailer Marks &
Spencer on Thursday posted a seventh consecutive
quarterly fall in underlying general merchandise sales, though
the outcome was a touch ahead of expectations.
Marks & Spencer, which has been the subject of takeover
speculation, said sales of its non-food products, spanning
clothing, footwear and homewares, at stores open over a year
fell 3.8 percent in the 13 weeks to March 30, its fiscal fourth
That compared with analyst forecasts of a decline of 4-6
percent, according to a company poll of 11, and a 3.8 percent
fall in the third quarter when M&S moved to protect profit
margins by offering fewer discounts.
Food sales on the same basis rose 4.0 percent versus analyst
forecasts of an increase of 1.9-3.5 percent and a third quarter
rise of 0.3 percent.
Total UK like-for-like sales rose 0.6 percent.