Marks and Spencer (M&S) has reported an increase in its 2011-2012 third quarter profits, thanks to its extended food offering over the Christmas period.M&S said a 3% increase in like-for-like food sales, in addition to a rise in total UK food sales of 4.5%, (both excluding VAT) contributed to the business’ Q3 success. The UK retailer saw a 0.5% increase in like-for-like sales overall (excluding VAT), in the 13 weeks to 31 December 2011, with total UK sales (excluding VAT) up 1.8%.M&S introduced 600 new food lines in the run up to the festive period, including seasonal products, party food and desserts.Marc Bolland, chief executive at M&S, said: “Marks & Spencer performed well in a challenging trading environment. Our Food business performed very strongly as customers enjoyed our new and traditional Christmas products. This unique offer, coupled with our great deals, gave them more choice than ever before for a special Christmas at home.”The business’ general merchandise areas showed a decline during the quarter, with total UK sales dropping 0.8% and like-for-like UK sales down 1.8%, both excluding VAT.
THE Premier League has revealed why Dele Alli’s handball against Everton was not awarded as a penalty – claiming it was because he was “under pressure”.The game was halted for over THREE MINUTES as VAR Anthony Taylor examined the footage.2 Alli jumps up with Everton’s Yerry Mina – and the ball clearly strikes his handPL chiefs released a statement on the reasons why the spot-kick was not given despite the ball clearly hitting the Tottenham midfielder’s hand as he went up with Everton defender Yerry Mina.Taylor was criticised after initially backing ref Martin Atkinson’s decision not to give a penalty – but then stopping the game again when he was given new footage of the incident at a different angle.The result was the same decision as the penalty was not awarded in the 1-1 draw between the two struggling sides, marred by the horrific injury to the Toffees’ Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes.Prem chiefs sought to clarify the situation on the Dele handball afterwards following huge criticism of VAR decisions this season.The statement said: “The VAR considered that both Alli and Mina were challenging for the ball in the air and Alli was under pressure from the attacker as the ball struck his hand.”In his view it was not a clear and obvious error.”Dele had given Tottenham a second-half lead.But the game was held up when Gomes was hurt after colliding with Son Hueng-min, suffering a broken ankle as his body hit the turf.Korean Son was sent off – although Spurs now look set to appeal – and the Toffees equalised through sub Cenk Tosun some seven minutes into 12 minutes of stoppage time.2Latest Tottenham newsHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’It was not the first time Dele has got away with a handball.His late goal in the 1-1 draw with Watford clearly struck his hand.However, VAR awarded the goal to give Spurs a point.Mauricio Pochettino brands Son’s sending off ‘unfair’ after referee Martin Atkinson changes his mind from yellow card to red