Marks and Spencer is expected to deliver its worst Christmas trading performances in a decade as the effects of the downturn are laid bare by some of the high street’s biggest names.

Analysts are sharpening their pencils for a round of hefty downgrades when reporting kicks off on Tuesday with Next, Debenhams and privately-owned New Look revealing how they fared over Christmas.

While Next and Debenhams are expected to report falling sales, M&S is likely to be the weakest performer.

The City expects overall sales at M&S to be down between 5.5-9.6%, with underlying sales in clothing and home expected to be off by 6-10%.

Financial Times