Marks and Spencer today unwrapped its new christmas TV advertisement featuring eight celebrities including Denise Van Outen, David Beckham and Sean Bean.

The ad aims to give a taste of the selection of christmas gifts and ideas available at M&S stores and will be screened on national tv this Friday, and will run until christmas eve.

Earlier today M&S posted an 8.8% rise in group like-for-like sales over the first half of the year and that strong food sales were boosted by the opening of three new Simply Food stores.

Food like-for-likes increased by 6% in the second quarter, and were up 3.6% over the first half.
Interim clothing and home like-for-like sales rose 13%.

Chief executive Roger Holmes said food sales were driven by product innovation and quality and that M&S was on track to open 20 Simply Food stores this year.

Interim pre-tax profit to September rose to £285.3m from £213.3m last year on turnover that increased 7.9% to £3.7bn.

Chairman Luc Vandevelde said: “Looking forward, we are now focused on gaining market share in the core areas, particularly clothing and food, and on building the foundations for future growth.