Marks and Spencer is “on the right track”, despite a seventh straight quarter of falling sales, chief executive, Stuart Rose, has said.

Speaking at the retailer’s annual general meeting yesterday, Rose told shareholders that he was quietly confident that he could turn the company around.

“Our focus remains on full-price profitable sales, improving financial performance through margin, cost and markdown management,” he added.

Yesterday, the group revealed that UK retail sales were down 3.1% for the 14 weeks to July 9, with general merchandise down 10.3%, clothing slipping 9.2% and home falling 22.3%.

However, food sales increased by 5%, with like-for-like food sales up 0.7%.