Tesco's sales rise for first time since 2010
TESCO'S sales in Ireland rose 0.4pc in the first quarter of its financial year -- the first time since 2010 that the British retailer's operations here have recorded a like-for-like increase.
Tesco, which is Ireland's biggest grocery retailer ahead of Dunnes Stores, has suffered here as a result of the economic slowdown.
Releasing an interim management statement yesterday, the retailer said that although its like-for-like sales in the UK declined again in the 13 weeks to the end of May, by 1.5pc, excluding VAT and petrol, its overall market performance beat that of competitors in the period. It said that its market growth rate slowed to 2pc from 2.3pc while the overall market fell 1.3 percentage points to 2.4pc.
Tesco has been hiring thousands of additional staff in order to improve its in-store customer relationships and also updating its own label ranges to lure more shoppers as part of a £1bn investment programme to regain market traction.
Overall like-for-like sales growth in its other European operations was 0.4pc, helped by improved performances of its outlets in Ireland, Poland and Slovakia.
"Continued uncertainty over the future of the eurozone and the potential impact of any further disruption has resulted in very low consumer confidence, particularly in Central Europe," said Tesco.
But chief executive Philip Clarke said it was "pleasing" that its businesses there "have largely sustained" their performance. Tesco has close to 140 outlets in Ireland, as well as nearly 30 small-format stores. It reported sales here of almost €3bn in 2010 and probably made a profit of €250m.