Tesco outperforms market with strong Christmas sales

Tesco Christmas
// UK like-for-likes up 2.2% over Christmas – best result since 2009
// Q3 like-for-likes up 0.7% in the UK – 12th consecutive quarter of growth
// For the current quarter, like-for-likes in the UK is up 1.2 per cent

Tesco has recorded its best ever Christmas sales figures in 10 years, with trading that outperformed the market alongside the 12th consecutive quarter of growth.

For the six-week period ending January 5, the retail giant said overall like-for-likes sales across its core UK and Irish markets grew 2.6 per cent.

For the UK alone, festive like-for-likes grew 2.2 per cent.

The figures outperformed the wider market in all key categories – food, clothing and general merchandise – and represents Tesco’s best UK festive performance since Christmas 2009.

The grocer attributed its performance to timely promotions as well as a 2.6 per cent growth in online like-for-like sales – especially over the Christmas period when it delivered nearly 51 million items.

When factoring in its Asia and Central Europe markets as well as its recently-acquired Booker wholesale and convenience division, Tesco’s group like-for-likes for the Christmas period grew 1.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, overall like-for-like sales for Tesco’s third quarter – the 13-week period ending November 28 – rose by 1.9 per cent in its core UK and Irish markets.

In the UK, third quarter like-for-likes grew 0.7 per cent, which was down from 2.5 per cent in the previous three months but still the 12th consecutive quarter of positive figures nonetheless.

Tesco also reported group like-for-like sales growth of 0.5 per cent, another slowdown compared to previous quarters.

For the current quarter to date, or the 19 weeks to January 5, the Big 4 giant recorded like-for-like sales growth of 1.2 per cent in the UK, 2.1 per cent for the UK and Ireland and 0.8 per cent for the whole group.

“As a team we have achieved a lot in the last 19 weeks. In the UK we delivered significant improvements in our competitive offer and this is reflected in a very strong Christmas performance which was ahead of the market,” Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said.

Tesco shares rose to the top of the FTSE 100 in morning trade, jumping 1.5 per cent to 215p.

Tesco’s update is the latest from the Big 4 grocers, which also includes Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.

Morrisons reported strong figures on Tuesday, while Sainsbury’s, which is attempting to merge with Asda, posted a poor set of results on Wednesday.

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