High street giant Marks & Spencer was staying tight-lipped on Monday over weekend press reports of disappointing festive clothing sales – especially women’s fashion.

The company said its policy was not to comment on sales speculation and added its Christmas sales will be revealed in a statement released next month.

The Independent on Sunday yesterday claimed poor fashion sales would leave M&S with too much stock which could lead to heavy discounting.

The paper cited sources that had seen an internal sales report prepared for CEO Roger Holmes. It said women’s clothing sales were lower-than-expected while men’s fashion sales were also below target, with unseasonal weather to blame.