Tesco reports tenth consecutive quarter of sales growth
Tesco increased its group like-for-like sales by 1.8% in its first quarter to mark a tenth consecutive quarter of positive growth.
In the 13 weeks to 26 May, like-for-like sales in the retailer’s UK and Republic of Ireland business grew by 3.5%.
Meanwhile, Tesco UK like-for-like sales climbed by 2.1% as the business’s performance improved throughout the quarter and recovered after the wintry weather conditions seen in March. Tesco said it is continuing to improve its customer offer in the UK and is now more than a quarter of the way through a re-launch of over 10,000 own brand products. At the end of the period, the retailer also invested in a range of price cuts across fresh food brands.
Total group sales at constant exchange rates rose by 1.8% and by 2.3% at actual exchange rates
Looking at its overseas performance, Tesco said a strong fresh food performance in Central Europe and Asia was offset by some specific market factors. Overall, like-for-like sales were down by 1% in Central Europe in the quarter due to the impact of regulatory change. In Asia like-for-like sales were down 9% although the performance improved towards the end of the period.
Tesco said its recently acquired Booker wholesale business saw like-for-like sales grow by 14.3%.
Commenting on the quarter’s performance, Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said “Our growth plans are on track and we are pleased with the momentum in the business. We remain well-placed to serve our customers better and deliver on our medium-term financial ambitions. We are delighted with initial progress on Booker, and are focused on delivering the synergy benefits that our merger brings.”
During the quarter Tesco also took the decision to close its Tesco Direct non-food website which will cease trading on 9 July. The move came after a review found there was no route to profitability for the loss-making business which had struggled against high costs for fulfilment and online marketing.
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