Tesco beats forecasts with strong Irish and British Christmas sales
Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket chain, beat forecasts for UK sales over the key Christmas trading period, driven by lower prices, and said it was making good progress with its turnaround plan, while Irish sales were also boosted over winter trading.
In a trading update released to shareholder today the company also revealed an increase in Irish sales over the Christmas period also.
"Our like-for-like sales performance in the Republic of Ireland turned positive over the Christmas period to 2.9pc following an improving trend in sales and volume through the course of the year.
"We have seen a strong customer response to the investments we have been making in our offer throughout the year, particularly in moving to lower, more stable prices on hundreds of key lines," the statement read on Thursday.
"There is plenty more to do, but we are making good progress and are trading in line with profit expectations for the full year," chief executive Dave Lewis said on Thursday.
The firm said sales at UK stores open over a year rose 1.3pc in the six weeks to January 9.
That compared to analyst forecasts of a fall of 1-3pc.
Tesco's UK like-for-like sales performance for the Christmas weeks also showed a big improvement on a fall of 1.5pc, also reported on Thursday, for the 13 weeks to November 28, its fiscal third quarter.
Analysts had forecast like-for-like sales down 2-3pc for the third quarter. They had fallen 1pc in Tesco's second quarter.