|Tesco reports growth in Christmas sales|
10 January 2013
Tesco has reported its strongest growth in UK Christmas sales for three years.
The country's biggest retailer reported that sales excluding new store openings, VAT and petrol grew 1.8% in the six weeks to 5 January, compared with the same period last year.
It said food sales had been particularly strong, with customers responding to "a much stronger seasonal offering".
Tesco also said its online food sales were up 18%.
The statement is in stark contrast to its report this time last year, when it described sales as disappointing, reported a 2.3% drop in sales and admitted that promotional activities had missed the mark.
Tesco is now nine months into the revamp of its UK stores, during which time Philip Clarke has been both group chief executive and in charge of running the UK business.
The supermarket group has now appointed a new UK managing director, Chris Bush.
Total sales across the group, excluding petrol, grew by 3.9%.
In its international businesses, sales in Asia were "slightly better", with strong performance in Thailand offsetting forced store closures in South Korea.
Sales in Europe were down 0.6% while total sales at the Fresh & Easy chain in the US - which Tesco is looking to either close or sell - were up 4.1%.
Tesco is the latest retailer to update the markets on its festive trading.
Morrisons reported a "disappointing" 2.5% fall in sales for the six weeks to 30 December
Sainsbury's announced a 0.9% rise in sales, although it covered a longer, 14 week period to 5 January
Marks & Spencer's like-for-like sales were down 1.8% in the 13 weeks to 29 December, although food sales rose 0.3%
Iceland's sales grew 5% in November and December
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