Fashion retailer Marks & Spencer has made a £8.5m loss in its first four months of trading in its Paris store as chief executive Marc Bolland plots further overseas stores.

The figures suggest its fledgling international operation could be a drag on profitability until it can build up the business.

It currently has two stores in Paris; its first opened in November 2011 and the second last October. The figures, revealed in accounting documents for M&S France, relate to its first store.

Bolland plans to open further stores overseas and will this week take City analysts to Istanbul to present on its international business.

He is eyeing two new overseas stores a week, mainly with franchise partners, which reduce costs.

However stores in France, Ireland, Hong Kong and Shanghai are fully controlled by the retailer. Overseas sales account for about £1bn of M&S’s turnover.

A spokeswoman told the Mail on Sunday that M&S did not comment on individual overseas businesses. But she added: “There are always starting costs associated with entering new markets.”