Marks & Spencer clothing sales fall for ninth straight quarter
British retailer Marks & Spencer reported a ninth consecutive quarterly fall in underlying sales of general merchandise, with its much vaunted new season clothing ranges only managing to slightly slow the rate of decline.
The 129-year-old group, also posted a fall in first-half profit - down for the third year running.
Britain's biggest clothing retailer, which also sells homewares and food, said sales of non-food products, spanning clothing, footwear and homewares, at stores open over a year fell 1.3pc in the 13 weeks to September 28, its fiscal second quarter.
That compared with analyst forecasts of down 0.4-2.5pc and a first quarter decline of 1.6pc.
M&S's food business, which contributes over half of group sales, is performing much better. Its sales on the same basis rose 3.2pc versus analyst forecasts of a rise of 3-3.2pc.
First-half profit before tax and one off items was 261.6 million pounds.
That was in line with analysts' average forecast of £262m, down from £287.3m last year.
M&S said its expectations for the full-year were unchanged.