Tesco reports jump in sales

Published by Rhian Nicholson on 16 June 2009.
Last updated on 21 December 2009

Tesco store

Supermarket giant Tesco says it is continuing to beat the downturn after revealing a 4.3% jump in sales during the first three months of the year.

Britain's biggest retailer explains the "solid" performance - up from 3.7% in the final quarter of 2008 - as reflecting strong sales of toys, homeware and gardening equipment.

Total group sales for the 4,300-strong store chain, which reported full-year profits of £2.95 billion in April, climbed 9.7% in the 13 weeks to 30 May.

Outside the UK, a weak pound helped to lift sales in the 13 other countries in which it operates by 11.4% at constant rates. A stronger performance from its Asian stores helped to offset tougher trading in some of its continental European markets.

Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, says: "We've made a solid start to the financial year, maintaining good momentum in a challenging economic climate. We are also keeping a strong focus through the downturn on our long-term strategic objectives."

Despite the rise in sales, Tesco's performance still lags behind that of its competitors. Morrison's recently reported a 7.3% jump in quarter one sales over the same period as cash strapped consumers went on the hunt for cheaper food ranges.

And Sainsbury's is expected to report a 7.3% rise in like-for-like sales when it reveals its financial results tomorrow.

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