TESCO'S operations in the UK appear to have turned a corner, with shares in the world's third-biggest retailer jumping after it posted solid Christmas sales.
The company, whose business in the UK suffered from a lacklustre performance over the past couple of years, has been rolling out a £1bn (€1.2bn) overhaul of its British division since last year. It said that like-for-like sales in the six weeks to January 5 rose 1.8pc – the strongest performance in over three years. It was buoyed by promotional activity and an increase in sales from Tesco's own 'Everyday' and 'Finest' product ranges.
The performance was in contrast to Britain's biggest department store operator, Marks & Spencer, which said that its UK food sales rose just 0.3pc in the 13 weeks to December 29 and that general merchandise sales fell 3.8pc in the same period.
Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said that the overall performance had been driven by an improvement in Tesco's food business and a "strong contribution" from online activity.
Tesco didn't break out a sales performance for its Irish arm in the latest trading update.