British high street giant Marks & Spencer on Wednesday confirmed it was well on the way to recovery after its recent troubles as it posted a 10.6 per cent jump in fourth quarter like-for-like sales.

The country's largest clothing retailer said apparel sales surged 16.5 per cent mainly thanks to strong interest in its Per Una range and its range of womenswear sold under the "perfect" banner.

In a news release, the company explained an early Easter and promotional activity added around three per cent to non-food sales and 1.8 per cent to food sales in the quarter to March 30.

Commenting on its performance, Luc Vandevelde, M&S chairman and chief executive, said: "I am delighted that our customers continue to react positively to the on-going improvements we are making to the appeal of our clothing and to the store environment. More customers are visiting our stores, being tempted to buy and spending more with us.

"The response to our Spring ranges in both womenswear and menswear has been particularly encouraging, continuing the progress made over the Christmas period."

He added: "While pleased with our progress, I recognise our performance was helped by the buoyant high street trading conditions and the fact we were up against weak comparatives in the fourth quarter last year.

"We still have a long way to go to recover lost ground, but I am confident that by continuously driving improvements for our customers we can secure the recovery."