Tesco Ireland sales up 4% over key Christmas period

Jan 12, 2018, 03:24
Tesco Ireland sales up 4% over key Christmas period

On a grim day for United Kingdom grocers, shares in the UK's #1 supermarket Tesco are down this morning, towards the bottom of the pile on a notable Christmas sales miss.

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

The group, which re-set its strategy in November two months after Archie Norman joined as chairman, said clothing and homeware like-for-like sales fell 2.8 percent in the 13 weeks to December 30, its fiscal third quarter.

Lidl claimed it was the "fastest growing supermarket" over Christmas after booking a 16% leap in festive sales in December, although it did not give a breakdown of like-for-like sales.

Supermarket Morrisons also had promising financial results.

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 retailer hailed a "strong" third-quarter performance in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, with United Kingdom like-for-like sales up 2.3% in the period and 1.9% over the Christmas trading season.

Marks & Spencer has attributed unseasonal weather to a fall in sales across its clothing and home division over the third quarter.

Non-tobacco sales at Booker Food Group, subject of a £3.7bn Tesco takeover, rose by 5.9% in the third quarter. "Price investment before Christmas and a strong performance from seasonal lines helped late trading".

Clothing and homeware fell 2.8 percent, food also dropped by 0.4 percent despite being seen as the most successful sector.

Meanwhile Sainsbury's upgraded its full-year profit forecast on Tuesday following a record Christmas of a 1.1% increase in like-for-like sales, but it warned of a challenging market amid weaker sales at Argos.

Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive at retail marketing agency Savvy, said: "We think that the M&S food shopper has in part been lured away to the discounters this Christmas with their enhanced premium ranges and outstanding wines and spirits offers".

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