Marks and Spencer’s food sales have continued growing in a year when retailers have lost momentum.
In the 19 weeks to August 14, food revenue was up 10.8 per cent since 2020, and up 9.6 per cent since 2019.
By contrast, Sainsbury’s Q1 food sales ground to a halt as they rose just 0.8 per cent.
Marks and Spencer’s growth could reflect its low base, with food revenue inching up by 1.3 per cent in 2020 while other businesses saw panic-buying and soaring sales.
Food sold through its hospitality and franchise businesses increased 7.1 per cent, half the rate of 2019.
In a statement, the supermarket admitted its performance was “variable”, but said “trading has been ahead of the market”.
International sales fell 5.2 per cent from two years ago.
Clothing and homeware revenue almost rebounded to 2019 levels, soaring 92.2 per cent since Marks and Spencer’s non-essential retail shut last year.
However, it conceded “there has likely been an element of pent-up consumer demand”.
Overall revenue is up almost 30 per cent from 2020, when Marks and Spencer slumped to its first loss in 94 years.
It expects pre-tax profit for this year to be around £300 million to £350 million.