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Tesco Christmas sales boosted by strong fresh food performance

Tesco increased its UK and Ireland like-for-like sales by 2.3% in its third quarter despite trading being impacted by the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey.

FOOD & DRINK

Tesco Christmas sales boosted by strong fresh food performance

Tesco increased its UK and Ireland like-for-like sales by 2.3% in its third quarter despite trading being impacted by the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey.

During the period, Tesco saw its biggest ever sales week in the UK, driven a strong performance in fresh food. In its key Christmas week, the supermarket processed 58 million customer transactions and 770,000 online grocery deliveries.

Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, 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.”

Tesco said a 1.9% like-for-like rise in the UK in the 19 weeks to 6 January had been driven by a 3.4% uplift in like-for-like food sales which offset a loss of tobacco sales due to the collapse of Palmer & Harvey.

Lewis said: “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. Whilst I am pleased to say these challenges have now been resolved, they took the shine off an otherwise outstanding performance for the period as a whole.”

The supermarket said all of its store formats performed well over Christmas, with a similar level of growth in both large and small stores. Tesco’s online grocery business had a record Christmas period, with over four million customer orders over the six weeks contributing to sales growth of 5%.

 

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