Image: Marks and Spencer New chief executive Steve Rowe. Image: Marks and Spencer

Turning around Marks & Spencer's troubled clothing division is top priority, the retailer's new chief executive has said.

It comes after the retailer reported yet another fall, this time 2.7%, in like-for-like clothing sales in the three months to 26 March.

New chief executive, Steve Rowe, who took over from Marc Bolland on 2 April, said: "Although the sales decline in clothing and home was lower than last quarter, our performance remains unsatisfactory and there is still more we need to do."

He added: "Turning around our clothing and home business by improving our customer offering is our number one priority."

Mr Rowe was promoted from his position of executive director of general merchandise, which focuses on Marks & Spencer's clothing and home products. Despite being the core business for years, M&S has seen clothing sales fall in 20 of the last 21 quarters. But, following a major revamp of its website, it said online sales were up 8.2%.

The retailer continued to perform well in its positive growth area of the past few years - food. Although like-for-like sales were unchanged, Marks & Spencer said the opening of around 80 new stores helped it to increase its share of the market to 4.8% during the quarter.