M&S extends its food market share

Marks & Spencer (M&S) increased its food market share by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2011, but said it remains cautious about the outlook for the rest of the year.

The interim results released today showed that total UK food sales (excluding VAT) were up by 5%, with like-for-like UK sales (excluding VAT) up by 3.3%.

Marc Bolland, chief executive, said: “Marks & Spencer continued to grow market share in both clothing and food by offering our customers more choice, great value for money and leading innovation.

“Against the uncertain economic backdrop, we are focused on trading through the short term, while building for the long-term growth of the business.”

The company has launched more than 500 new products over the first quarter and said that it had benefited from customers seeking better-value alternatives to eating out. However, it said it expected trading conditions to remain challenging and remained cautious.