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M&S warns of challenges ahead even as sales rise

The company also claimed an increase in market share across the business.

Marks & Spencer has warned of challenging conditions for trading in the coming months even as it reported a 6.5 per cent rise in total second quarter sales.

In the three months to 2 October, the retailer reported a 5.3 per cent rise in like-for-like sales in the UK, while total international sales grew 6.2 per cent.

The company also claimed an increase in market share across the business.

However, M&S warned that the government's public spending cuts, the planned 20 per cent rise in VAT in January and higher commodity prices will tighten its customer's budgets.

The results were announced by Marc Bolland who took over as chief executive from Sir Stuart Rose in May.

According to the Times, the retailer's growth during the quarter was flattered by weaker comparative figures than its supermarket rivals, such as J Sainsbury and Tesco. However, with an extra 1.8 million visitors, following recent marketing campaigns, sales have been better than expected.