Tesco sales hit records

Supermarket giant Tesco outpaced its rivals over Christmas as sales grew to record levels, driven by its premium food range Tesco Finest and growth in home entertainment, electronics and gifts.
In the seven weeks to 7 January, Tesco Britain’s biggest supermarket reported a 5.7% rise in same-store sales, excluding petrol.
Total UK sales were 10.1% higher, including the impact of new stores. The figure rose to 11.5% once international sales were added.
Tesco, which is expected to make £2.1bn this financial year outpaced its rivals despite some of them stepping up the pressure.
Earlier this week, second-placed Asda, owned by Wal-Mart, said its Christmas sales had been higher than the 2.8% same-store sales reported by Wm Morrison, the UK’s fourth-biggest supermarket.
J Sainsbury, in third place, last week said third quarter same-store sales had risen 5.2% in the latest indication that it’s recovery programme was on track.
Tesco played down price cuts offered by rivals such as Asda, and Tesco finance director, Andrew Higginson said, “It’s more of the same, we’ve had this for years.
“We are delighted that, with the fantastic performance we had last year, we have held on to those gains. To have remained the best performer in the top four is pretty pleasing.”
Tesco said, “The commitment and hard work of our staff once again delivered our best ever Christmas for customers. Our customer service and product availability were strong and one-stop shopping for food and non-food at our 117 Extra stores was particularly popular.”
It said seasonal foods, in particular the ‘Tesco Finest’ range, sold “very well” while sales of home entertainment, electronics, clothing, toys and gifts also performed strongly.
Home delivery service Tesco.com delivered over a million orders in the four weeks before Christmas, making it a record year for the division, the company said. Tesco Mobile also signed up its millionth customer during December.
Tesco said its overseas business also traded well, with international sales up 16.1 per cent over Christmas and New Year. The shares fell by 3p to 315p in early trading.

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