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Tesco claims to be on track ahead of Christmas in Q3 trading update

Supermarket giant Tesco says it is performing in line with expectations ahead of the key Christmas trading season.

Group sales for the thirteen weeks ending 26 November 2011 increased by 7.2% including petrol (7.3% at constant exchange rates) and by 5.4% excluding petrol (5.5% at constant exchange rates).

Like-for-like growth in Asia slowed sharply during the quarter - to 0.8% - as a result of these short term effects. Total sales growth in Asia was 9.7% (8.9% at constant exchange rates).

In Europe, sales excluding petrol grew by 5.8% (7.7% at constant exchange rates).

In the US Fresh & Easy business sales were up over 29% in the quarter (at both actual and constant exchange rates), with further, double-digit like-for-like sales growth of 11.9%, driven by both increased customer numbers and higher average spend.

Philip Clarke chief executive officer says: "We have made good progress in our third quarter against the background of challenging conditions for consumers in many of our markets.

"In the UK, our increased investment in the shopping trip for customers is starting to deliver. The Big Price Drop campaign, now in its second phase, has lowered prices significantly for hard-pressed families and we are now being rewarded with stronger food volume growth. We are also seeing positive customer reaction to the improvements in our general merchandise ranges. Whilst I am pleased with these early signs of stronger performance, a great deal more remains to be done and we are confident of delivering further improvements as we implement our plans.

"Overall, we saw good growth internationally despite some of our markets in Asia being affected by difficult trading conditions. In particular, the disruption in Thailand caused by the flooding interrupted an otherwise strong sales trend and the response of our team there to the crisis has been outstanding - both for customers and for our staff. Elsewhere, both Central Europe and Fresh & Easy delivered further pleasing performances."

Source : StockMarketWire

08 December 2011
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