- 4 updates
Despite the UK sales improvement, Seymour Pierce analyst Kate Calvert said it was too early to call a recovery in Tesco's performance:
Tesco shares opened 3% higher this morning. While the sales figure was better than City expectations, it was helped by comparisons with the previous Christmas, when the chain admitted mistakes with its pricing strategy in a performance that wiped billions of pounds from its share price.
In line with other retailers, Tesco said it enjoyed a strong online performance, with food sales growth of 18%. More than half a million food orders were fulfilled in the week before Christmas, with nearly 5% being picked up by customers using its drive-through Click & Collect service.
Tesco had international sales growth similar level to that seen in the third quarter of last year, with total international sales growth of 3.4% (2.6% at actual exchange rates).
Although this was mainly boosted by large growth in Asia, in Europe total sales declined by 0.6% (a decline of 2.4% at actual exchange rates).
Tesco has released figures showing a 1.8% rise in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to January 5 2013.
Chief Executive Philip Clarke said: "I am pleased with our performance over the important Christmas and New Year period in the UK, which reflects the progress we are making in improving our offer for customers.
"This performance was driven by a further improvement in our food business in-store and a strong contribution from online, which included our biggest ever week for internet sales, a successful first Christmas for Grocery Click & Collect and a better performance for Tesco Direct"