Weaker than expected Q1 sales for Tesco

UK retail giant Tesco has reported weak growth in the first quarter the year that lags behind its promising performance in the full financial year.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK – 21st March 2011: Front entrance sign of a Tesco Superstore supermarket at the Hermiston Gait Retail Park in Edinburgh. Tesco divide their UK stores into six categories, with superstores such as this one being classed as a large supermarket.

In the 13 weeks to 25 May, UK like-for-like saw sales growth of 0.4% to £9,088 million, while Booker contributing sales growth of 3.1%. Online grocery sales were up 7% year-on-year, it said as the number of customers choosing Click and Collect grew by 10%.

In April, Tesco posted strong full year results ahead of expectations, with group sales up 11.5% to £56.9 billion, and UK like-for-like sales up +1.7% and Booker +11.1%. 

However chief executive Dave Lewis insisted the results outperformed the “subdued” UK grocery market in both sales and volume terms (by +0.2% and +1.3% respectively) and the retailer had had a “particularly good Easter”.

“We have had a strong start to the year, growing ahead of the UK market on both a volume and value basis. Our customer offer is more competitive than ever, with a wider choice of our ‘Exclusively at Tesco’ products now available in more stores, helping to drive more than 10% sales growth across the range,” he said.

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