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Business

Tesco festive sales improve to mark ‘good Christmas'

Tesco posted a third quarter sales dip of 1.5 per cent but said sales were up over the Christmas period
Staff Reporter

TESCO has revealed a surprise rise in sales over the Christmas period.

The UK's biggest grocery chain said like-for-like sales were up 1.3 per cent in the six weeks to January 9.

Some analysts had predicted a fall of 3 per cent.

Sainsbury's also reported better than expected figures of a 0.4 per cent drop in sales earlier this week.

Tesco boss Dave Lewis said: "Our Christmas performance was strong, benefitting from lower prices on an outstanding range of products. There is plenty more to do, but we are making good progress."

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "With its competitors already having provided some pleasant surprises, Tesco has completed the supermarket sweep with an update which has highlighted a particularly strong Christmas trading period."

Tesco was among a raft of retailers to update the market with festive trading figures yesterday.

Primark owner Associated British Foods said the chain's trading dipped over Christmas as it was hit by the unusually warm winter weather.

However, the group said Primark's sales were up 7 per cent across the whole of its 16-week period to January 2 , as it opened six new stores during that time.

Meanwhile, Argos owner Home Retail Group warned over profits after it said the chain suffered falling sales amid "mixed" trading over Christmas.

Home Retail - which on Wednesday night revealed talks to sell its DIY arm Homebase and rejected a takeover approach for the wider business from Sainsbury's in November - posted a 2.2 per cent fall in sales at established Argos stores for the 18 weeks to January 2.

Like-for-like sales at Homebase rose 5 per cent.

Elsewhere, JD Sports said like-for-like sales in the five weeks to January 2 jumped 10.6 per cent.

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