Tuesday 26 September 2017

Property tax hitting Tesco sales

Tesco. Photo: PA
Tesco. Photo: PA
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The introduction of the local property tax in Ireland is among austerity measures impacting Tesco sales across Europe, the retailer said this morning.

Shares in Tesco slumped nearly 4pc in early trading as it said like-for-like sales in its European markets  - including Ireland  - fell 5.5pc in the first quarter of its trading year. In Britain – its biggest market – like-for-like sales excluding VAT and petrol declined 1pc.

The horsemeat scandal this year also impacted its business and sales in the UK were held back as it focuses on its revamping its general merchandise segment.

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said there had been a “small but discernible impact” on frozen and chilled convenience food sales as customers shunned products after horse DNA was discovered in some Tesco foods.

Sales were hit in all its markets.

"Conditions outside the UK remain challenging and we have broadly maintained our performance from the fourth quarter of last year,” insisted Mr Clarke. “Whilst we are not expecting economic conditions to improve in the near term, we have a customer-focused plan for the year in each of our markets which takes this into account, and we will maintain a disciplined approach to investment and cash flow as outlined in April."

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