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Gloucestershire Business News

Marks & Spencer revenues drop despite rise in food

A rise in food sales over Christmas were not enough to prevent Marks & Spencer reporting a sharp fall in revenues over the last quarter of 2020.

Revenues in the UK for the 13 weeks to December 26 fell by 8.2 per cent on the same period a year ago to £2.52billion while international revenues fell by 10.4 per cent.

Food sales rose by 2.6 per cent, but with clothing and home sales dropping by 24.1 per cent over the quarter, overall like-for-like sales were down 7.6 per cent.

National lockdown measures in England ensured November's figures suffered - food sales for the month falling 4.5 per cent as clothing and home sales were down 40.5 per cent.

Chief executive Steve Rowe said: "Given the on-off restrictions and distortions in demand patterns our trading was robust over the Christmas period.

"More importantly, beneath the Covid clouds we saw a very strong performance from the food business, including Ocado Retail, and a further acceleration of clothing and home online.

"Near term trading remains very challenging but we are continuing to accelerate change under our Never the Same Again programme to ensure the business emerges from the pandemic in very different shape."

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