Like-For-Like Sales Up 2.2% At Tesco Over Q3 And Christmas
Tesco has posted a like-for-like sales increase of 2.2% in its UK and Republic of Ireland operations over the 19-week period incorporating its third quarter and Christmas.
In terms of the retailer's third quarter sales specifically, like-for-like sales were up 2.3% in the UK, and by 3.3% in the Republic of Ireland, which Tesco said was the ‘highest rate of market share growth in the Republic of Ireland for five years’.
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%.
Earlier this week, Kantar Worldpanel said that Tesco posted its 'strongest sales increase since June,' in the latest round of market share figures.
Tesco posted its eighth consecutive quarter of growth in the UK, with all formats and channels posting positive results - its Extra hypermarkets saw LFL sales up 1.8%, while Express convenience stores were up 2.3%.
‘Whilst inflationary pressures remain in the UK market as a whole, we have continued to work with our supplier partners to help mitigate the impact on our customers,’ the retailer said in a statement. ‘As a result, we have passed on less inflation to date than our competitors, recognised by our customers in a continued improvement in our ‘Trust in Price’ score.”’
Over the Christmas period specifically, Tesco posted 1.9% LFL sales growth, however it noted that a positive performance in food sales during this period (+3.4%) was ‘offset by ongoing drag from general merchandise and lost tobacco sales due to Palmer & Harvey integration’.
General Merchandise saw a 0.6% decline during the Christmas period, however clothing sales were up 5%. Online sales in the UK were up 5% over the entire 19-week period.
Christmas week, it said, was its ‘busiest ever week of sales’, with fresh food sales rising by 4%. It should be considered, however, that Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday, which helped to maximise trading.
Commenting on the group’s UK performance, Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said, "We have continued to outperform the market throughout this period, particularly in fresh food, thanks to our most competitive offer for many years.
“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 UK.”
However, Lewis also noted that incorporating “Palmer & Harvey volumes and complexity during this peak period was challenging, resulting in lost tobacco sales across December and putting further strain into our distribution network, particularly post-Christmas”. He noted that these challenges have now largely “been resolved”.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.