Marks & Spencer has seen food sales rise in its first quarter, while it remains on track to open 90 new Simply Food stores this year.
The food business saw like-for-like sales up 0.3% and total sales up 3.2% for the 13 weeks to 27 June 2015.
The company praised the launch of 700 new lines, including the new Taste of the British Isles range, which has boosted trade for a number of independent bakery companies.
It also remains confident that it will open 90 Simply Food convenience stores this year, and has seen good performance in stores opened to date.
Marc Bolland, chief executive, said: “We continue to make progress against our key priorities. Our Food business did very well in a difficult market. In General Merchandise, sales were broadly level on last year and we are on track to deliver the planned increase in gross margin. M&S.com performance was very strong, with customers appreciating all the improvements to our website.”
Half-year results for the company will be announced on 4 November 2015.