Tesco shares plunge despite Christmas sales growth

Posted January 13, 2018

In the four weeks before Christmas Day Tesco enjoyed "record sales and volumes" and in the first week of December Tesco reported its biggest ever week of sales, outstripping the market by almost four per cent in fresh food.

Tesco shares tumbled 3.5 percent after Christmas trading results in its core United Kingdom business fell short of market expectations.

Lewis said food, and particularly fresh food, were driving growth across all the company's stores and online, with the company selling over 600,000 turkeys and half a million kilos of fresh salmon.

And Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, missed forecasts for Christmas trading.

"We had a mixed quarter that started off with a challenging October but got better on both sides of the business in the run-up to Christmas", said Rowe.

House of Fraser was another to reveal festive trading woes as it saw store sales slump 2.9% in the crucial six weeks to December 23 after resisting pressure to discount outside of Black Friday.

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Elsewhere, House of Fraser said sales in the six weeks to 23 December were down 2.9% and post-Christmas performance was "disappointing".

Marks & Spencer's clothes and sales fell in the last quarter of 2017, hampering the British retailer's latest attempt at a corporate turnaround and knocking its shares.

The supermarket said it enjoyed "record sales and volumes" in the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day.

"However, the impact of an unseasonal October resulted in an overall revenue decline".

Shares fell nearly three per cent in morning trades.

Industry research group Kantar had also primed the market to expect growth of 3.1% earlier this week, setting the bar that bit higher for Tesco.

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Lewis's strategy to rebuild Tesco following an accounting scandal in 2014 has been based on increasing food sales.

Recruitment firm Hays climbed nearly 3 percent on posting double-digit growth in Q2 net fees.

It is also good news for the retailer after facing controversy over its £3.7 billion acquisition of wholesaler and convenience store operator Booker - which was given the final approval from the Competitions and Market Authority just before Christmas.

Worldwide sales during the quarter declined 9.8 percent to 309 million pounds (416.6 million dollars), while M&S.com sales of 309 million pounds improved 3 percent.

"Our fresh food ranges performed particularly well, as did F&F Clothing, which saw double-digit growth", said Andrew Yaxley, chief executive of Tesco Ireland.

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