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Tesco reports strong sales over Christmas period

Tesco has beaten City forecasts with a 2.6% increase in like-for-like sales over the six week period ending 5 January.

Tesco attributed the growth to its ‘Festive 5’ vegetable offer which proved popular with customers, selling 19.7 million units over the three weeks to Christmas. It also experienced like-for-like sales growth of 12.2% in total meat joints following what it called “timely promotions”.

Tesco’s online like-for-like sales increased by 2.6% over the period and reported its “biggest-ever” sales week in online grocery, with nearly 51 million items delivered and 776,000 orders.

Booker’s like-for-like sales grew 6.7% during the Christmas period which Tesco said “reflects the annualisation of contract wins last year”. The company added it continues to make progress in its ‘Joining Forces’ programme with Booker, with Booker lines now available in 70 Tesco stores.

Tesco also announced like-for-like sales in the UK & ROI business including Booker grew by 1.9% during the 13-week third quarter ending 24 November.

Tesco chief executive, Dave Lewis, said: “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. In central Europe, the reshaping of our business continues and we are confident of the outcome we envisaged.

“In Asia, negotiations with suppliers are concluding satisfactorily and we can see this in our simpler, clearer, more impactful offer for customers.We have more to do everywhere but remain bang on track to deliver our plans for the year and as we enter our centenary we are in a strong position.”

The news follows fellow ‘big four grocer’ Sainsbury’s announcement yesterday that it experienced a 1.1% decline in sales over Christmas.

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