Marks & Spencer has reported that lingerie performed strongly over its fourth financial quarter, which ended on March 31.
Menswear and kidswear also performed well, though womenswear struggled slightly due to a stock shortage in a number of the segment’s best-selling lines.
Overall, group sales grew by 0.8 percent, while UK sales increased by 1.2 percent. M&S saw the biggest boost from its online and Asian business, the former of which saw a growth in sales of 22.8 percent.
M & S chief executive Marc Bolland said: “Marks & Spencer continued to make progress in a challenging market… Direct had another strong quarter with sales up 22.8% through a number of new initiatives delivering an improved customer shopping experience.
“Strategic international markets, including India and China, delivered double digit growth but we continue to experience macro-economic pressure and restructuring in some parts of Europe.”
M & S’ new flagship store in Paris also reportedly performed ahead of expectations. Despite this, the retailer’s international sales performance as a whole was impacted by continued macro-economic weakness in the Republic of Ireland and Greece, and the announced restructuring of the its Central European business.
According to the company, the pilot stores in the UK are performing well, with customers having responded favourably to the improvements. M & S has, however, reduced its budget for future expansion. It now plans to roll it out to the remainder of its estate – with no reduction in scope – for £100m less than the previous guidance of £600m.
The target completion date for the roll-out by mid 2013 remains unchanged, by which point it aims to have increased it footage by three percent in the UK and 20 percent internationally.