Tesco Ireland sales up 4% over key Christmas period

High Street crash

GETTY DARK DAY For M&S and HoF the Christmas results have been one to forget

But Tesco missed overall group forecasts for Christmas trading as strong sales of fresh food were undermined by lower demand for general goods such as DVDs and computer games.

Tesco recorded 58 million customer transactions and 770,000 online grocery deliveries in the key Christmas week, according to a trading update from the company.

United Kingdom retailer Marks & Spencer has posted a 1.4% decline in like-for-like sales in its home market in its third quarter, with Food sales down 0.4% and Clothing & Home sales down 2.8%.

"Our fresh food ranges performed particularly well, as did F&F Clothing, which saw double-digit growth", said Andrew Yaxley, chief executive of Tesco Ireland.

"Our trading momentum accelerated across the third quarter and into December, with the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day delivering record sales and volumes in the United Kingdom", chief executiuve Dave Lewis said.

This means for the overall 19 week period ending January 6, Tesco's United Kingdom like-for-like sales enjoyed a 2.1 per cent uptick, while its overall sales in the country rose by 2.3 per cent. The fall in the second quarter was 0.1%.

Marks & Spencer shares fell sharply after the retailer blamed a warm October for faltering clothing sales and suffered its fourth consecutive slide in food sales as shoppers hunted for cheaper options.

Lewis said the collapse of the Palmer & Harvey tobacco supplier had taken "the shine off an otherwise outstanding performance for the period as a whole". The results come after the latest Kantar data showed that the company was the fastest growing of the UK's big four supermarkets in the 12 weeks to December 31, while still growing behind the market.

Supermarket Morrisons also had promising financial results.

The supermarket says its efforts to pass on less inflation to its consumers compared to rivals could be behind its sales performance.

British department store John Lewis said on Thursday that its own trading was likely to remain volatile in 2018 after higher costs and tough competition blunted the benefits of solid Christmas sales.

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