Tesco Ireland sales up 4% over key Christmas period


Reporting a continued deterioration of conditions, the company noted both falling food and clothing sales over the crucial Christmas weeks, extending a trend that has been dogging the company for many quarters, despite both segments weakened by less than expected.

"Rowe's five-year plan is no more than a profit stabilisation strategy and (we) see better value elsewhere", Investec's Kate Calvert, who has a "sell" rating on M&S, said.

In a statement issued today (11 January), Tesco said: "Our online grocery business had a record Christmas period, with over four million customer orders over the six weeks contributing to sales growth of 5.0%".

Like-for-like (LFL) sales in the United Kingdom grew 2.3% in Q3 (13 weeks to 25 November).

Over in the USA, the major indices closed lower across the board for the first time in 2018 on reports that China was reviewing its policy of buying United States treasuries. It insisted both divisions saw better trading in the key Christmas weeks. UBS analyst Daniel Ekstein said it appeared that sales volumes had found a sweet spot, although there were still concerns about the impact on margins.

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He said that more customers did their Christmas shopping with Tesco than in the previous year, while the retailer's customer satisfaction scores in Ireland also improved.

According to reports, Tesco took a significant hit from lost tobacco sales after the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey past year put an extra strain on its distribution network.

Supermarket giant Tesco said United Kingdom like-for-like seasonal sales rose by 1.9 per cent, driven by a strong grocery performance. This figure was aided by 3.6 percent growth at its department store chain. The retailer's United Kingdom like-for-like sales were 1.9pc higher.

CMC Markets analyst, Michael Hewson commented "With concerns starting to rise about an [increase] in inflation due to the recent strength in oil prices it is understandable that bond markets might be nervous if a normally large buyer of U.S. treasuries either stops buying them or even starts to sell large amounts".

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