M&S' Q3 (the 13 weeks To 29th December 2018) saw Clothing & Home revenues fall -2.4% on a LFL basis.

The retailer states that this performance reflects lower footfall in its stores – partly as a result of the increasing pace of store closures – which was partially offset by online growth of +14%, driven by improvements to proposition and operations.

Meanwhile, stock going into the December sale was reduced by a quarter – its lowest level in five years.

Despite the "challenging trading period", M&S points to some encouraging signs from the programme to transform its product range, customer focus and channel mix.

“Against the backdrop of well-publicised difficult market conditions, our performance remained steady across the period," comments chief executive, Steve Rowe. "Our transformation programme remains on track."

The retailer's FY guidance remains unchanged.