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International markets boost Tesco figures

Solid growth in group sales - up 8.8%

CITY & CORPORATE

International markets boost Tesco figures

Solid growth in group sales - up 8.8%

Group sales for the thirteen weeks ending 27 November 2010 increased by 8.8%.
Maturing international businesses, supported by an improving global economy,  have delivered a strong performance with total international sales increasing by 15.7%.
 
The sales performance in Asia was strong, with 23.4% growth. The benefits of the investments made during the recession are coming through with a good sales contribution from new store openings. Like-for-like sales in Asia remain solid at 4.3%; this is slightly behind the 5.0% in the second quarter, due to unseasonably warm weather in North Asia. In China, Tesco opened its fourth Lifespace mall - in Anshan - which has opened well with 96% occupancy.
 
The performance of the businesses in Europe continues to improve with sales up by 7.6%. Like-for-like sales growth at 3.6% continued its recent trend as a result of strong improvements in Hungary and Turkey in particular. Excluding the impact of petrol, all European businesses achieved positive like-for-like sales for the first time in three years.
 
In the United States, sales were up 38.5% with a particularly successful Thanksgiving holiday period. Like-for-like sales growth remained strong at 9.8% driven primarily by increased customer numbers.
The UK business continues to perform well, growing faster than the industry as a whole, with total sales up 5.0% (including VAT and excluding petrol).
 
Like-for-like sales improved to 1.5% (including VAT and excluding petrol) - despite inflation staying low for much of the quarter - with a strengthening performance as the company exited the quarter.  Sales contribution from new space is growing with a strong second-half store opening programme.  New stores, such as the Extras which opened in Bishop Auckland, Nottingham Beeston and Accrington, are helping Tesco towards their target of creating 9,000 jobs in the UK. 
 
Chief Executive, Terry Leahy commented,"We've made good progress in the third quarter with growth from across the Group.  Our continued investment in the shopping trip and our new space opening programme across our markets are giving us good sales momentum and market share gains.  As the global economic recovery gathers pace, our broad-based strategy, combined with our ongoing focus on productivity savings, is enabling us to maintain growth in a sustainable, profitable way - delivering value for customers and for shareholders”.

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