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International business delivers half of Tesco’s growth

Group sales increase in the six weeks to 8th January 2011

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

International business delivers half of Tesco’s growth

In its Christmas & New Year trading statement, Tesco announces that Group sales in the six weeks to 8th January 2011 increased by +7.6%.

Total international sales over the period grew at +14.2%, with strong performances in all three regions: Asia, Europe and the United States.
In Asia, total sales grew by +24.2%, with good like-for-like sales growth driven by particularly encouraging performances from Thailand and China.

In Europe, total sales grew by +5.6% (9.1% at constant exchange rates). Like-for-like sales growth was once again positive in every country and similar overall to the third quarter performance.

In the United States, Fresh & Easy continues to perform well helped by another successful Christmas and New Year period. Total sales grew by +36.9% and like-for-like sales growth remained strong, continuing the good progress made in the third quarter.

In the UK, market share is growing, with total sales growth increasing by +4.2%. Like-for-like sales increased by +0.6% and sales from new space grew by +3.6%, reflecting a strong contribution from some recent new store openings.

Online sales were strong in both food and non-food with double-digit total online sales  growth.  Tesco Direct had sales growth of +18%, with a strong performance in toys, gaming and small domestic appliances, building on growth of more than +50% last Christmas.

Terry Leahy, Chief Executive, commented, "The Group has continued to make good progress, helped by strong growth across our international businesses, which delivered over half of the Group's growth. Our performance remains solid but was hindered in the run up to the important Christmas trading period in the UK by the disruptive effects of the severe winter weather conditions. Our staff and suppliers did a fantastic job in delivering a great shopping trip for customers in difficult circumstances."

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