Retail giant Tesco has reported a 3.1% rise in sales over the Christmas trading period, falling short of City expectations. The lower-than-expected sales, for the six weeks to January 5, shows a slower sales growth than rival supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s.
Tesco says the rise in Christmas trading proved a “strong performance” despite the results being lower than expected. The supermarket revealed that like-for-like sales, excluding petrol, increased by 3.1% , whereas Sainsbury, reported an increase of 3.7% over the same period.
Tesco says it has delivered record sales over the Christmas period, which “were driven by rapid expansion internationally and solid growth in the UK”.
Total sales in the UK grew by 8% in the six week period, with non-food items such as books and clothing showing growth. Its overseas business “traded well” over the Christmas and New year period, with Turkey’s sales growth reaching more than 80%.
Tesco’s online business, tesco.com and Tesco Direct, reported a “very successful” Christmas, with total sales up 24% to £190 million and over 2 million orders delivered over the six weeks.
It also added that its Fresh & Easy stores in America had seen a “very encouraging” response from customers.