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M&S: shares battered after disappointing Christmas trading

(CercleFinance.com) - Marks & Spencer share are taking a beating on Thursday morning, falling by over 10%, after the British retailer was hit by a challenging trading environment in the run-up to Christmas.

The company - often considered as Britain's most prestigious supermarket group - said on Thursday that total sales fell by 0.7% in the 13 weeks to 28 December, its fiscal third quarter.

In the UK, clothing and homeware like-for-like sales dropped by 3.7%, although same-store food sales rose by 1.5%, it said.

M&S said that disappointing one-off issues - notably waste in the food business, as well as issues in its menswear and gifting categories, held it back from "delivering a stronger result."

The stock was down 10.5% at 195.5 pence in morning trading and has now fallen 29% over the last 12 months.

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