Tesco books steep rise in sales over Christmas

Ivan Schwartz
January 12, 2018

Britain's biggest retailer posted its total like-for-like sales growth was 1.9 per cent with food rising 3.4 per cent. Tesco's fresh food sales outperformed its rivals by nearly four per cent, the supermarket added. It had passed on less inflation to date than its competitors, it claimed.

House of Fraser said Black Friday was more successful for the chain, with sales over the promotional event in November up 0.8% in stores and within 1% of last year's record performance online.

However, when taking all of the Big 4 retailer's worldwide markets into account, total like-for-like sales grew by 0.6 per cent during that period, but overall sales enjoyed a 1.8 per cent uplift.

And although some shareholders will be put at ease by a reiteration of FY guidance, it seems unlikely to reduce concerns that the M&S turnaround is failing to see the success of the aforementioned Tesco, while also raising further questions about how much pressure the United Kingdom high street can handle from the rise of online retailers.

The department, which also covers lingerie and swimwear, witnessed a 2.3% fall in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 30 December, while total group revenue dipped slightly by 0.1% to £3.1bn.

"I would describe the consumer as quite fragile and quite volatile and if there's a reason not to spend they take it", M&S Chief Executive Steve Rowe told reporters.

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"We had a mixed quarter that started off with a challenging October but got better on both sides of the business in the run-up to Christmas", said Rowe.

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

Same store food sales fell 0.4 percent - ahead of analysts' average forecast of a 1.1 percent decline but worse than a 0.1 percent fall in the previous quarter.

Mr Lewis said Tesco is "confident" in terms of its outlook for the full year.

Online sales at M&S.com lifted 3%, while its ongoing move to pull out of global markets saw overseas sales slump 9.8%.

The supermarket said its turkey prices were amongst the "lowest" in the land.

Other reports by GizPress

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