Tesco has topped the supermarket Christmas winners’ list with sales over the festive period outperforming the rest of the Big Four grocery giants.
Britain’s biggest retailer reported that its sales grew by 1.3 per cent over the 12 weeks to January 1, just beating Morrisons’ 1.2 per cent growth, and racing ahead of the 0.1 per cent and 2.4 per cent falls revealed by Sainsbury’s and Asda respectively.
The grocer said turnover also grew 0.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis in the six weeks to January 7, driven by ‘attractive fresh food ranges’, ‘great quality’, ‘innovative new products’ and ‘even more affordable prices’.
Tesco has topped the Christmas winners list, outperforming the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets over the festive period
On top of that the supermarket chain notched up a 1.8 per cent rise in third quarter sales, marking a year of continuous growth as its recovery under boss Dave Lewis continues.
Commenting on the upward trend, Mr Lewis said in a trading statement: ‘We are very encouraged by the sustained strong progress that we are making across the group.
‘In the UK, we saw our eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and delivered a third successful Christmas.
‘Our fresh food ranges proved particularly popular, outperforming the market with great quality, innovative new products and even more affordable prices.
‘We are well placed against the plans we shared in October to become more competitive for customers, simpler for colleagues, and an even better partner for our suppliers, whilst creating long-term value for our shareholders.’
Mr Lewis, who has been leading an overhaul since he took over from Philip Clarke in 2014, aims to slash costs by £1.5 billion over the next three years to help boost margins and return the group to bottom-line profit growth.
Tesco said it saw particularly good growth across its core Christmas grocery and fresh ranges, including a 24 per cent increase in party food sales and an 18 per cent rise in Free From sales.
In a video commentary, the entire Tesco UK management team praised the company’s success at serving over 266 customers per second.
The chief executive said the firm, which was embroiled in a furore over an inflation-linked rise in the price of Marmite last year, is working ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with suppliers to help mitigate the impact of the collapse in the value of the pound.
He said: ‘Inflation pressure is there, but we will keep doing everything we can to minimise the impact.’
Mr Lewis added that Tesco has ‘seen no change in the pattern’ of consumer spending behaviour.
The firm said: ‘We have worked hard throughout the period – in collaboration with our supplier partners – to minimise the impact on our customers of the inflationary pressures that have started to emerge in the market.
‘As a result, while deflation has eased, the price of a typical basket remains nearly 7 per cent cheaper than in September 2014. We will continue to do all that we can to ensure that we offer our customers the best possible prices.
Across the group, Tesco saw like-for-like sales grow 1.5 per cent in the third quarter and 0.3 per cent over Christmas.
As a result of the positive figures, Tesco’s market share has grown for the first time since 2011.
Commenting on the upturn, John Ibbotson of Retail Vision consultancy said: ‘Tesco’s revival continues apace, with a strong Christmas trading period and third quarter.
‘More ominously for its competitors, Tesco has managed to increase its market share in a period of cut-throat competition.
‘Lower prices, especially on fresh food and a massive investment in the Christmas range and premium Tesco Finest brand have brought the customers flocking back.
‘There’s a tough year or two ahead for everyone in the sector, but there’s now no doubt that Tesco has started to hits its stride.’
The results cap off a week of positive data for supermarkets, with Sainsbury’s and Morrisons having also posted stellar results.
Marks & Spencer also revealed a return to sales growth at its embattled clothing arm for the first time in nearly two years thanks to an overhaul of its ranges and the timing of Christmas.
This article was sourced from http://newsjadensmith.com