Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Tesco thanks fresh food for Christmas sales rise

Tesco is festive winner reporting record Christmas sales Tesco hails “strong” quarter despite Palmer & Harvey fallout
Heather Davidson | 13 January, 2018, 00:59

He said that more customers did their Christmas shopping with Tesco than in the previous year, while the retailer's customer satisfaction scores in Ireland also improved. Growth was recorded across all channels, with LFL sales growth of 1.8% in Extra hypermarkets, 2.3% in Express convenience stores and over 5% Online.

Marks and Spencer shares sank 7 percent, the biggest loss on the FTSE, after sales fell in the last quarter of 2017, hampering the British retailer's latest attempt at a corporate turnaround.

Here we look at the retail winners and losers.

Britain's biggest supermarket said like-for-like sales were up 1.9% in the six-week period to 6 January, with food up 3.4%, but that general merchandise dragged on the overall performance.

This helped Tesco notch up a 2.3% rise in third quarter comparable sales.

But that was below the 2.8pc increase that had been expected by analysts, and sent Tesco's shares tumbling by more than 4pc.

He added that the group remains on track to meet full-year profit expectations.

Morrisons was a stand-out performer among the Big Four thanks to surging sales of its premium range and efforts to keep a lid on prices.

This included a 3.7% rise in LFL sales of fresh food.

Lidl has claimed it was the "fastest growing supermarket" over Christmas after booking record festive sales. "As a result, we carried more stock into the December sale", it said in its trading statement.

Morrisons said that it kept the price of a basket of key festive items at the same level as a year ago, despite inflation and the rising cost of many commodities.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said it had seen revenue grow both in-store and online in the weeks leading up to Christmas while it maintained its full-price stance in a "very promotional market" and did not participate in the Black Friday discount day. Its food sales also disappointed, down 0.4%, as it admitted the division was suffering "ongoing under-performance".

"Trading pressure continued into the lead up to Christmas". This figure was aided by 3.6 percent growth at its department store chain.

The supermarket said it enjoyed "record sales and volumes" in the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

Retail giant Marks & Spencer has revealed "mixed" festive trading after another steep fall in sales in its embattled clothing arm and disappointing trading in its food halls.

Its Central Europe business saw a 0.8% like-for-like sales increase, however Asia, a market in which Tesco has instigated the ceasing of bulk selling in Thailand over the past year, fell 9.6%.

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