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Marks And Spencer Group Plc
Quarter 3 2007/08 - Interim Management Statement
13 weeks to 29 December 2007
  • Group sales up 2.8%
  • UK sales up 2.0%: General Merchandise - 0.7%(1); Food +5.1%
  • UK like for like sales -2.2%: General Merchandise -3.2%; Food -1.5%
  • International sales up 15.1%

    Sir Stuart Rose, Chief Executive said:

    “Market conditions became more challenging through November and December. We continued to drive footfall, and volume growth in General Merchandise was strong at 5%. Price deflation was 6%, reflecting our continued focus on offering customers better values. We held market share in General Merchandise at 10.6%(2) and in Food at 4.3%(3).

    “We did not discount in the run up to Christmas. Stock levels were well controlled over the period. We had a strong start to the Christmas Sale and sale stocks have now cleared.

    “Direct was strong, with sales from our website up 78%, reflecting further growth in customer numbers, transactions and conversion. International also performed well with sales up 15.1% over the period.

    “We expect trading conditions to remain tough throughout 2008. We are well positioned with a strong product offer and better than ever values across our business. We now have 70% of our stores in the modernised format and a strong pipeline of new space for 2008 and beyond. Direct and International continue to make good progress.”

    Since 6 November we have repurchased 1.18% of our shares in issue at a cost of £124.8m.

    Marks and Spencer Group plc will report its 2007/08 Preliminary results and Q4 trading for the 13 weeks to 29 March 2008 on 20 May 2008.

    (1)   Clothing -1.2%; Home +3.2%
    (2)   Clothing market share: TNS Worldpanel Fashion: 12 weeks ending 11 Nov 2007
    (3)   Food market share: Superpanel, Food & drink: 12 weeks ending 2 Dec 2007

    Statements made in this announcement that look forward in time or that express management’s beliefs, expectations or estimates regarding future occurrences and prospects are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements reflect Marks & Spencer’s current expectations concerning future events and actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including failure by Marks & Spencer to predict accurately customer preferences; decline in the demand for products offered by Marks & Spencer; competitive influences; changes in levels of store traffic or consumer spending habits; effectiveness of Marks & Spencer’s brand awareness and marketing programmes; general economic conditions or a downturn in the retail or financial services industries; acts of war or terrorism worldwide; work stoppages, slowdowns or strikes; and changes in financial and equity markets.

    Contacts:
    Investor Relations:
    Amanda Mellor +44 (0)20 8718 3604
    Majda Rainer +44 (0)20 8718 1563

    Corporate Press Office: +44 (0)20 8718 1919

    Investors & Analysts Conference Call:
    This will be hosted by Stuart Rose at 08.30 (GMT) on Wednesday 9 January 2008:
    Dial in number: +44 (0)20 7190 1530

    A recording of this call will be available until Wednesday 16 January 2008:
    Dial in number: +44 (0)20 7190 5901 Access Code: 137930

    Fixed Income Investor Conference Call:
    This will be hosted by Ian Dyson at 14.00 (GMT) on Thursday 10 January 2008:
    Dial in number: +44 (0)20 7190 1596

    A recording of this call will be available until Thursday 17 January 2008:
    Dial in number: +44 (0)20 7190 5901 Access Code: 137958