Marks & Spencer said today that weekend press reports alleging the company was considering pulling out of continental Europe were untrue.

And it said that its three new recently opened lingerie 'sanctums' in Paris, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg, were all doing well and exceeding targets.

An M&S spokesman told just-style: "The property review is not an indication that we are pulling out of Europe at the moment.

"It is good business practice to know what your assets are worth. We have been working with Healey & Baker for the last five years.

"Our three new Marks & Spencer Lingerie shops ("msl") are all trading very well and we are delighted with their performance so far."

But the spokesman added that he could not comment on any long-term changes.

Talk of M&S pulling out of Europe started after it was revealed that the embattled retailer had instructed estate agents, Healey & Baker, to conduct a thorough review of property holdings in France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany.

M&S has 18 shops in France, two in Germany, nine in Spain and two in Portugal. The retailer also has a handful of stores in Belgium and Luxembourg.

By Deborah Bowyer