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Supermarket Tesco enjoys Christmas sales leap

12 January, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Tesco is Ireland's second biggest grocery retailer in terms of the value of sales

"We have continued to outperform the market throughout this period, particularly in fresh food", Tesco's chief executive Dave Lewis commented in the statement.

Tesco said United Kingdom like-for-like seasonal sales rose by 1.9% with "record sales and volumes" in the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

Lewis added: "Our trading momentum accelerated across the third quarter and into December, with the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day delivering record sales and volumes in the United Kingdom".

Market research earlier this week named Tesco as one of the festive winners on the British high street in the sales of groceries, but the group said on Thursday its overall results were hit by weak general merchandise and a loss of a key tobacco supplier.

Despite the upbeat update, Tesco's results have failed to spark enthusiasm among investors, which have sold off the supermarket's shares this morning.

Sales rose by 2.8% in the 10 weeks to 7 January, well ahead of analyst expectations of 1.7%.

M&S blamed unseasonal autumn weather as clothing and homeware sales dropped by 2.8% in the 13 weeks to 30 December while food - until recently a stellar performer for the company - slid by 0.4%.


M&S shares -4.5%; Tesco shares -3.2%.

The declines reported were still not as steep as some feared after profit warnings from the likes of Debenhams, Moss Bros and Mothercare.

Worldwide revenue stood out as the worst performer, reporting GBP309 million, a 9.8% drop on a year-on-year basis, as a result of the planned closure of owned stores in loss making markets.

It is also good news for the retailer after facing controversy over its £3.7 billion acquisition of wholesaler and convenience store operator Booker - which was given the final approval from the Competitions and Market Authority just before Christmas.

The M&S boss said that despite the sales dip, he believed the retailer was right to resist the Black Friday discounting frenzy as it focused on restoring its price positioning.

However, it did not give a breakdown of like-for-like sales, again ignoring an industry benchmark used by its peers.

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