Record Christmas for Tesco's online grocery business

Record Christmas for Tesco's online grocery business

Record Christmas for Tesco's online grocery business

Meanwhile, UK like-for-like sales during the Christmas period rose by 1.9% and total sales was up by 2.1 per cent, driven by a strong grocery performance.

The results represented the company's eighth consecutive quarter of growth and continued market outperformance, it claimed.

Food sales grew 3.4% on a like-for-like basis over Christmas, and the only blot was a drag from a 0.6% decline across general merchandise and tobacco sales, which the firm blamed on the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey.

Marks & Spencer noted a fall in revenues in both its food and its clothing and home departments in the 13 weeks to 30 December, the retailer said in a trading statement on Thursday.

The four weeks leading up to Christmas Day delivered record sales and volumes in the United Kingdom, which helped it notch up a 2.3 per cent rise in third quarter comparable sales.

Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket chain, reported like-for-like growth of 1.9% for its United Kingdom stores, a performance it said as thanks to the strength of its food business which saw underlying growth of 3.4%.

"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.

Another to boast of a "record" festive season was J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY) which "moderately" lifted its full-year profit expectations as cost savings from its takeover of Argos are coming through quicker than forecast.

Total group sales were down 0.1% overall, while worldwide sales were down 9.8%.

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.

Its clothing and home division didn't fare any better - sales dipped 2.8% to £1.2bn.

Fiona Cincotta, analyst at City Index, said: "Retailers were out of favour throughout the day, following disappointing numbers from Marks & Spencer. Price investment before Christmas and a strong performance from seasonal lines helped late trading".

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