High street giant Marks & Spencer Group Plc on Tuesday posted a smaller-than-expected rise in second quarter clothing sales as hot weather dampened consumer demand.

The country's largest fashion retailer said total clothing sales for the 11 weeks to September 27 rose 0.9 per cent year-on-year as it kept its clothing market share of 11 per cent for the third consecutive quarter.

Total UK like-for-like sales for the 26 weeks to September 27 were up 2.4 per cent with actual sales up 4.2 per cent.

The company added full price apparel sales rose three per cent during the quarter despite sweltering conditions which saw many shoppers desert shopping centres for parks and beaches.

Chief executive, Roger Holmes, said in a statement: "Clothing performance this quarter has been reasonable. We have delivered a three per cent increase in full price sales and put less stock into the summer sale.

"The continuation of the hot summer weather did not help our clothing performance in September, but overall we have held market share for the half-year."

He added the retailer's childrenswear division had continued to struggle but he soon expects the unit to improve its performance as the former vice-president of Gap Inc's European operations, Anthony Thompson, joined yesterday to lead the turnaround.