Tesco Reveal Lower Than Expected Christmas Sales

Britain’s largest supermarket chain Tesco has suffered from a fall in sales for the busy Christmas period as the effects of the credit squeeze and increased competition look to have caught up with retailer .
Tesco is insisting its Xmas trading results were “strong” despite falling short of City sales forecasts, which has seen shares fall by 3 per cent.
The grocer announced like-for-like sales growth excluding petrol during the crucial six weeks to January 5 had risen to 3.1 per cent – failing to meet the 4 per cent mark widely expected by retail analysts and way behind its previous year’s growth of 5.9 per cent.
Tesco’s finance director Andrew Higginson said: “In terms of the UK I think it’s a strong performance. If you look at all the other reports, it stands out as a good number.”
But analysts maintained festive trading for Tesco, which roughly holds a third of the UK’s £32 billion grocery market, was disappointing given the increase in sales reported by rival groups Sainsbury’s and Morrisons .
Higginson conceded that Morrisons had performed better over the festive period due to the retailer’s stronger drinks promotions.
Recent reports from market research firm TNS reported that Morrisons had increased its market share from 11 per cent to 11.4 per cent.
In contrast, retail giant Marks and Spencer was among several high street stores to post a drop in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period.

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