Tesco Ireland records highest market share growth in five years

M&S store

In the four weeks before Christmas Day Tesco enjoyed "record sales and volumes" and in the first week of December Tesco reported its biggest ever week of sales, outstripping the market by almost four per cent in fresh food.

The supermarket says its efforts to pass on less inflation to its consumers compared to rivals could be behind its sales performance.

United Kingdom shares were marginally higher on Thursday as the pound weakened against the dollar and euro, helping offset weak earnings updates from the likes of Tesco and Marks & Spencer Group.

MARKS and Spencer sales fell over the festive period, while Tesco reported record trade. Chief executive Charles Wilson said the business had improved "choice, prices and service" for shoppers.

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The department, which also covers lingerie and swimwear, witnessed a 2.3% fall in like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to 30 December, while total group revenue dipped slightly by 0.1% to £3.1bn.

"Incorporating Palmer & Harvey volumes and complexity during this peak period was challenging, resulting in lost tobacco sales across December and putting further strain into our distribution network, particularly post-Christmas", Lewis said. In the ROI, third-quarter and Christmas sales climbed 3.3% and 4% respectively.

The declines reported were still not as steep as some feared after profit warnings from the likes of Debenhams, Moss Bros and Mothercare.

He said that but for October's unseasonable mild weather, M&S would have had a positive sales performance for clothing.

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Worldwide sales during the quarter declined 9.8 percent to 309 million pounds (416.6 million dollars), while M&S.com sales of 309 million pounds improved 3 percent.

In November, M&S said it would speed up store closures, relocations and downsizings and re-position its food offer, including slowing down openings of "Simply Food" stores.

The supermarket said its turkey prices were amongst the "lowest" in the land. "As a result, full year guidance remains unchanged".

Before the update, analysts were on average forecasting a pretax profit before one-off items of 578 million pounds, down from 614 million pounds in 2016-17.

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