Stuart Rose wasn't going to let disappointing Q1 results dampen his mood and he was on typically sparky form during a press conference on Tuesday.

Referring to the floods, the Marks & Spencer chief quipped: "I know I famously said weather was for wimps, but I didn't expect people to have to go shopping in boats."

He observed that, because of the weather, sales of T-shirts and shorts were down but tights were flying out the door. Rose offered this analysis: "Hosiery sales are up because girls don't want to get their legs wet."

He went on to admit that he had been going to extra lengths to keep up with fashion trends, revealing: "I look at what girls are wearing every day on the way to work." Don't we all.