Tesco says UK recovery is steady

Tesco has reported improved sales for the third quarter, driven by the economic recovery and efficiency savings.

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The UK business recorded a “solid” performance and total sales increased 5% for the three months to 27 November.

Like-for-like sales increased to 1.5% during the period.

Sales of Tesco’s Finest range continued to improve into double-digits and its non-food business Tesco Direct grew sales by 30%.

Tesco chief executive, Terry Leahy says: “As the global economic recovery gathers pace, our broad-based strategy, combined with our ongoing focus on productivity savings, is enabling us to maintain growth in a sustainable, profitable way – delivering value for customers and for shareholders.”

During the period Tesco announced its Double Points Clubcard promotion would remain for the foreseeable future and says its loyalty programme “continues to excite customers and earn their loyalty”.

The supermarket group says its international business, which is now “maturing” has “delivered a strong performance” reporting a 15.7% sales increase.

European sales were up 7.6% with like-for-like sales growth at 3.6%.

In the US, Tesco’s Fresh & Easy chain improved its performance reporting a 9.8% rise in like-for-like sales driven by increased customer numbers.

Tesco is hoping to further improve its performance over the festive period and has launched a Christmas ad campaign starring Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden.

Richard Brasher, who will take over as UK CEO in March has said that this Christmas will be the supermarket’s biggest ever.

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