FTSE 100: M&S sales up 10% after 'record breaking' festive boost

festive items in the Christmas gift and decoration section in the branch of retailer Marks and Spencer at Westfield White City on October 20, 2020 in London, England. The high street store has announced that searches for Christmas-related items have tripled on previous years. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched a new “Shop early, Start wrapping, Enjoy Christmas” national campaign, encouraging British consumers to start their festive shopping early. The aim is to both spread the amount of footfall in stores to aid social distancing, and to ensure that retail stores survive the Christmas period, despite COVID-19 preventative measures. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Marks and Spencer had a festive boost this year with record Christmas sales of £80m. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty

Marks and Spencer saw a festive boost to its sales with Christmas trading reaching its highest ever recorded market share.

Third-quarter food sales at M&S (MKS.L) rose by 6.3% compared to a 5% rise at its larger rivals, and the retailer generated its largest ever Christmas sales of over £80m on 23 December.

The retailer's trading report released on Thursday stated that total sales were up 10.2%, reflecting additional food store openings.

Chief executive Stuart Machin said the retailer outperformed the market in food in both volume and value during the four-week Christmas period for the second year running.

He said: "M&S Food outperformed the market on volume and value in the critical four-week Christmas period for the second year running and reached its highest ever recorded market share."

The third quarter report stated that the retailer maintained market leadership in clothing and home with its highest share in seven years with click and collect orders at physical M&S stores increasing by 20% on the previous quarter.

Marks and Spencer's mobile app saw a substantial growth in monthly active users, now at five million downloads.

The chief executive of M&S added: “M&S sustained trading momentum through the peak quarter and both food and clothing & home have delivered strong growth.

"Clothing and home delivered another outstanding performance, maintaining its market leadership position with its highest market share in seven years.

He added: "More customers shopped with M&S over the Christmas period than in recent years.

"This performance across both our businesses provides confidence in delivering our full-year results.”

International M&S store sales increased 12.5% with strong retail sales growth in key markets in the Middle East and India.

Watch: Black Friday: People queue outside Marks & Spencer on London's Oxford Street