M&S reveals record Christmas food sales

Marks & Spencer recorded its biggest ever day of food sales – as the retailer overcame the severe weather over Christmas.

The retailer said it achieved a record of more than £50m worth of sales on 23 December, while UK like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 1 January grew at a better-than-expected 2.8%.

M&S enjoyed a good run in 2010, with like-for-like sales consistently beating expectations and profits in the first half of the financial year, up 17% at £348.6m

The company said UK food sales grew 1.8% in the third quarter, while general merchandise, which includes clothing, rose by 3.8%. The retailer increased its market share in food to 3.9%, according to researcher Kantar, as the firm launched more than 600 new products during the quarter.

In food, deals-of-the-week promotions and half-price champagne were popular and the company sold a record 1.9 million turkeys in the period, up 10% on last year, while salmon and prawns were up 17%. The company does expect food price inflation of around 1% to 2% in the final quarter of the financial year, but said it was focused on offering competitive pricing.

>> M&S talks turkey