Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Record Christmas for Tesco's online grocery business

High Street crash GETTY DARK DAY For M&S and HoF the Christmas results have been one to forget
Laurie Berry | 12 January, 2018, 03:22

Tesco's shares fell by 3.5 percent this morning despite the company stating that it had "outperformed" over the Christmas period.

It came as the firm posted a trading update, where it chalked up a "strong" half-year performance thanks to a rise in forward sales and completed homes.

Like its discounter peer Aldi, Lidl also reported rampant sales growth over Christmas leading it to make the claim that it is the "fastest growing supermarket" in Britain.

However, when taking all of the Big 4 retailer's worldwide markets into account, total like-for-like sales grew by 0.6 per cent during that period, but overall sales enjoyed a 1.8 per cent uplift.

Supermarkets Morrisons and Sainsbury's also suffered in the wake of the slump, drifting down 3.3p to 226.2p and 5.3p to 248.6p respectively.

Mr Rowe said the group was pushing on with turnaround plans after announcing alongside half-year results in November that it would speed up plans to close under-performing clothing stores and slow expansion of its Simply Food chain as it battles to restore its high street fortunes.

Like-for-like sales at Tesco grew by 6% for the 19 weeks to 6 January 2018.

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All of the supermarket's fresh categories significantly "outperformed the market" during the Christmas period, with a particularly strong volume performance in meat, fish and poultry.

The results represented the company's eighth consecutive quarter of growth and continued market outperformance, it claimed. Chief executive Charles Wilson said the business had improved "choice, prices and service" for shoppers.

Rowe added changes were underway at the retailer to "get the business back on track" this year.

M&S said like-for-like sales of clothing and homeware fell by 2.8% in its fiscal third quarter, which was ahead of analysts' average forecast of a 3.4% decline.

Fiona Cincotta, analyst at City Index, said: "Retailers were out of favour throughout the day, following disappointing numbers from Marks & Spencer".

M&S said a pick up in trading over the key Christmas weeks helped make up for a weak clothing market and more hard trading in its food business, with consumer spending under pressure amid a squeeze on budgets from inflation.

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