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Marks and Spencer Group Plc (M&S) for the 13 weeks to December 30, 2017 reported 0.1 percent decline in group revenue to 3,167 million pounds (4,272 million dollars).

Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: "We are a business in transition; our focus is on driving profitability rather than chasing revenue at any cost".

It was another mixed bag for Marks & Spencer this Christmas with sales falling in its food and clothing and home divisions, though not by as much as the market had feared.

Just today, fashion retailers announce sales revenues 10-25% higher over the Christmas period, as companies both young (Boohoo) and old (Ted Baker) see bumper demand, further projecting the image of the cash conscious United Kingdom consumer wanting bang for their buck, especially at yuletide.

"As a result, we carried more stock into the December sale", said CEO Steve Rowe.

Department store chain House of Fraser became the latest retailer to reveal festive trading woes as it saw store sales slump 2.9% in the run up to Christmas. "If it comes through in the next quarter fantastic, if it doesn't I believe we're taking the right steps".

Mr Rowe sought to assure that the clothing arm was still turning around and would have seen sales rise in the Christmas quarter had it not been for the unusually warm October.

Its food business had a 0.4 per cent drop in comparable sales, which was again better than analysts' forecasts that they would dip by 1.1 per cent.

M&S re-set its strategy in November, two months after retail veteran Archie Norman joined as chairman, saying it would speed up store closures and relocations and re-position its food offer.

Online sales at M&S.com lifted 3%, while its ongoing move to pull out of global markets saw overseas sales slump 9.8%. Their signature luxury products are being undercut by bargain supermarkets at a fraction of the price.

The company said it remained confident in its outlook for the full year and was firmly on track to deliver its medium-term ambitions. Such an outcome would be a second straight year of decline.