Resurgent British high street giant Marks & Spencer is Europe's leading fashion retailer but is coming under increasing threat from rivals including C&A and Hennes & Mauritz, a report revealed on Tuesday.

According to market research company Mintel, M&S sold £3.53 billion worth of clothes in 2000, which kept it ahead of German company C&A at £2.86bn and Swedish rival H&M which was third with £2.66bn.

Mintel spokesman Richard Perks said: "Despite recent troubled times no one else has a comparable dominance of its home market." But he added: "M&S is increasingly coming under threat."

He added whether M&S holds onto top spot next year remains to be seen as it sold all of its stores in continental Europe last year while C&A has closed its British stores.