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M&S margins disappoint

Food wastage held back the group's Christmas performance
M&S margins disappoint

Christmas trading showed more of the same from Marks and Spencer (MKS), with growth in food being held back by trading in clothing and home. Like-for-like sales grew a modest 0.2 per cent overall, but management warned that the gross margin would come in at the bottom end of expectations. 

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Chief executive Steve Rowe said the group was held back by issues related to waste and the supply chain in the food division, and poor buying in menswear combined with lacklustre performance for gifting in the clothing and home division. House broker Shore Cap suggested higher food waste was the most significant factor behind the margin squeeze.