Tesco blames petrol prices for decline in UK sales

Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has revealed that sales at its UK stores have been hit by high fuel prices .
The supermarket giant said on Tuesday that like-for-like sales, excluding VAT and petrol, over the 13 weeks to 28th May were 0.1 per cent lower than the same period last year May, marking the second consecutive quarterly decline in UK sales .
Analysts had expected Tesco to report sales growth of around 0.6 per cent.
Tesco said that 70 per cent of its customers are concerned by the high cost of petrol, with many being forced to restrict spending to essential items.
In a statement, the retailer said: “High fuel costs continue to mean that customers have to direct some of their spending to petrol at the expense of their normal shopping and this remains a drag on both industry and our own like-for-like growth.”
Philip Clarke, Tesco’s chief executive, said admitted that “consumer sentiment in many of our key markets remains subdued” but added that the company had made a “good start to the new financial year” and that there were “encouraging signs of better performance emerging in both the UK and the US”.