Tesco share price tumbles even as grocer posts upbeat festive sales
12 January, 2018, 00:38
At home, the supermarket's 1.9-percent LFL sales growth was driven by 3.4-percent growth in food, offset by downbeat performance at the company's general merchandise division and lost tobacco sales due to Palmer & Harvey's integration.
"Our trading momentum accelerated across the third quarter and into December, with the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day delivering record sales and volumes in the United Kingdom", he added.
Marks & Spencer shares fell sharply after the retailer blamed a warm October for faltering clothing sales and suffered its fourth consecutive slide in food sales as shoppers hunted for cheaper options.
"As a result, full-year guidance remains unchanged", said Chief Executive Steve Rowe.
According to its latest trading update, third quarter like-for-like sales in the United Kingdom grew by 2.3 per cent - representing Tesco's eighth consecutive quarter of growth - and total sales grew 2.5 per cent.
Tesco recorded 58 million customer transactions and 770,000 online grocery deliveries in the key Christmas week, according to a trading update from the company. In the United Kingdom total sales were up 1.1% to £2.858bn, but on a like-for-like basis - in stores open a year or more where comparable figures can be taken - United Kingdom sales were down 1.4%.
Sales of Tesco's exclusive fresh food brands, core Tesco range and Tesco Finest products all grew by more than four per cent in the six-week Christmas period, and as in previous years, the supermarket's seasonal offer included a "Festive 5" vegetable deal.
Tesco did take a hit from lost tobacco sales after wholesaler Palmer & Harvey collapsed in November.
"Sales in clothing and home actually fell by the biggest margin, but in a market which is shrinking, that's more a reflection of wider economic trends", he said.
Tesco's update is the latest from the so called Big Four supermarkets, which also includes Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.
Shore Capital analyst Clive Black says tobacco sales took 0.5% off United Kingdom and Ireland like-for-like sales over six weeks.
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It expects to achieve £80-85m of EBITDA synergies from the Argos acquisition by March 2018 - ahead of the expected £65m. Sainsbury's did not break down the separate like-for-like sales performances of its supermarket and Argos businesses.
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