Shortage of stock in some areas hit sales at Marks & Spencer in the fourth quarter, the retailer said.
It said: “In womenswear our performance was mixed, with some key areas trading well. However, we performed less well in other areas where we were short of stock in a number of best-selling lines. We are taking steps to address this by strengthening our merchandising capabilities.
“We managed stock very tightly, resulting in less stock going into our mid-season sale.”
Nevertheless, total group sales were up 0.8 per cent, helped by a 22.8 per cent rise in direct sales.
Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “We have continued to manage costs tightly, and are confident of delivering full year profits in line with expectations. While the short term trading outlook continues to be challenging, we are focused on investing in line with our plan and are making strong progress against our goal of becoming an international, multi-channel retailer.”