Tesco thanks fresh food for Christmas sales rise

Tesco is festive winner reporting record Christmas sales

In the ROI, third-quarter and Christmas sales climbed 3.3% and 4% respectively.

Mr Rowe said that it had been a "mixed quarter" with its clothing and home division recording a 2.8pc like-for-like decline after suffering from a dismal October which dragged fashion sales lower across the industry.

Marks & Spencer recorded a 1.1% uplift in United Kingdom revenue, but global sales were down 9.8%, reflected the completion of the planned closure of owned stores in loss-making markets.

General merchandise comparable sales fell 0.6% over Christmas.

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Despite the sales disappointment M&S said it would maintain its financial guidance for the full 2017-18 year.

"Despite many predictions that Tesco had "won" Christmas, with that accolade instead being shared by Morrisons and the Co-op, the market leader nonetheless enjoyed a very creditable festive period", he pointed out, as quoted by the newswire.

The German chain said sales rose 16% in December as it experienced its highest ever footfall.

"In our food business, ongoing trading pressures continued in the lead up to Christmas as consumer spending and choices reflected tighter budgets", he added.

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The update comes after rival Next said it had seen a better-than-expected Christmas sales performance, partly thanks to cold weather in December - but over a period that did not include October.

M&S also did not take part in Black Friday, which helped buoy John Lewis results.

Tesco has emerged as a festive victor after reporting a steep rise in sales over the critical Christmas trading period.

Food sales rose an impressive 3.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis over Christmas. The results come after the latest Kantar data showed that the company was the fastest growing of the UK's big four supermarkets in the 12 weeks to December 31, while still growing behind the market.

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"Everyone seems to have abandoned their Simply Food stores for other supermarkets, removing the one real positive in the numbers over the last few years".

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