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Group sales up for Tesco

Strong online growth but like-for-like UK retail sales remain flat.

CITY & CORPORATE

Group sales up for Tesco

Strong online growth but like-for-like UK retail sales remain flat.

Group sales for the thirteen weeks ending 26 November 2011 increased by 7.2% including petrol (7.3% at constant exchange rates) and by 5.4% excluding petrol (5.5% at constant exchange rates).

In the UK, total sales including VAT and petrol grew by 6.7% and by 3.7% excluding petrol.  Like-for- like-sales growth including VAT and petrol was 3.4% in the period and excluding petrol, growth was 0.1%, representing a slightly stronger rate of growth than in the second quarter.  Exc. petrol like-for-like sales excluding VAT were stable at (0.9)%.  Online sales increased by nearly 10% in the third quarter, reflecting strong growth in Tesco Direct.

The company says that it has seen a good improvement in the rate of customer and transaction growth in absolute terms and relative to their key competitors, resulting in a stronger grocery volume performance.

In Europe, sales excluding petrol grew by 5.8% (7.7% at constant exchange rates). There were strong performances in Poland and Slovakia and good increases in market share.

Like-for-like growth in Asia slowed sharply during the quarter - to 0.8% -  Total sales growth in Asia was 9.7% (8.9% at constant exchange rates).
Philip Clarke, Chief Executive said, "We have made good progress in our third quarter against the background of challenging conditions for consumers in many of our markets.
 
Overall, we saw good growth internationally despite some of our markets in Asia being affected by difficult trading conditions.  In particular, the disruption in Thailand caused by the flooding interrupted an otherwise strong sales trend and the response of our team there to the crisis has been outstanding - both for customers and for our staff.  Elsewhere, both Central Europe and Fresh & Easy delivered further pleasing performances."

Tesco says it is  performing broadly in line with market expectations for the Group and the outlook for the year as a whole remains unchanged, ahead of the important seasonal trading period.

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