Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Marc Bolland said the company is making "strong progress" in its bid to become an "international multi-channel retailer", despite reporting a drop in pre-tax profit during the first half of the year.
Instead, Mr Bolland highlighted the firm's performance in the second quarter, which was better than the previous quarter.
Marks & Spencer has revealed a slide in profits as its non-food sales continue to drop.
M&S announced a pre-tax profit of £297 million for the period ending 29 September, down from £307 million a year earlier.
The firm posted a 4.3 percent decline in non-food like-for-like sales in the first half after admitting it had lost market share in its core womenswear market.
Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said it looked like the modest sales revival seen in September was something of a "false dawn".
Clothing and footwear sales saw double-digit like-for-like growth in the first week of the month as customers bought autumn and winter collections, but faded as they were too nervous to fill their wardrobes with them.
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said October sales figures had been like a "disappointing firework - full of promise, but eventually fizzing out with a whimper" and said winning a share of the Christmas wallet over the next two months would be just as competitive as last year.
Hopes for a continuing pre-Christmas sales revival were dashed today amid signs that consumers are still limiting spending to essential items.
In its worst figures outside of a seasonal period for 11 months, the British Retail Consortium said October's UK retail sales were 0.1% lower on a like-for-like basis than a year ago, ending the modest revival seen in September.
The figures heighten nerves in the sector ahead of the festive period, particularly after the collapse of electricals chain Comet.
Total sales, including new stores, were up 2% compared with 2.5% in July last year, while the three-month rolling average shows growth of like-for-like non-food sales outpacing food sales for the first time.
So-called big-ticket items such as furniture and household appliances continue to struggle to sell with growth being promotion-driven.
Online, mail-order and phone sales of non-food items show stronger growth, up 15.6% against growth of 9.6% last year.
Retailers suffered a "lacklustre" July as expectations of an Olympic boost appear to be "wide of the mark", a leading survey shows.
Sales values edged 0.1% higher on a like-for-like basis in July, compared with a 0.6% rise in the same month last year, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG research said.
Warm weather in the final week and a slight boost from Olympic fever helped support food and drink sales but it was not enough to offset the impact of lower prices and wet weather earlier in the month.