M&S suffers sales fall in `mixed´ Christmas trading

12 January, 2018, 03:24 | Author: Lester Mason
  • High Street crash

Tesco has emerged as a festive victor after reporting a steep rise in sales over the critical Christmas trading period.

This helped Tesco notch up a 2.3% rise in third quarter comparable sales.

As a result, its shares are being punished by the market and are down 4.8% to 201.7p.

Rowe said M&S's clothing and homeware revenue grew both in-store and online over the weeks leading up to Christmas, and the retailer held its full prices when others were cutting theirs.

The supermarket group said that over the 19 weeks to January 6, it had experienced the highest rate of market share growth in Ireland for five years with like-for-like sales increasing by 3.5%.

In the United Kingdom like-for-like sales growth of 1.9pc, driven by a 3.4pc like-for-like increase in sales of food, was offset by ongoing drag from general merchandise and lost tobacco sales due to the Palmer & Harvey integration.

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.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said: "We have continued to outperform the market throughout this period, particularly in fresh food".

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Food sales rose 3.6% on a total basis to £1.666bn, but like-for-like food sales were down 0.4%.

Supermarkets Morrisons and Sainsbury's also suffered in the wake of the slump, drifting down 3.3p to 226.2p and 5.3p to 248.6p respectively.

Market research this week had identified Tesco as a festive victor, but the group said lower sales of general merchandise and the collapse of a tobacco supplier cast a shadow over a record week of trading before Dec (Shanghai: 600875.SS - news). 25.

Lidl has claimed it was the "fastest growing supermarket" over Christmas after booking record festive sales.

Like-for-like sales in the United Kingdom went up 2.3%, having increased 2.1% in the second quarter.

Fiona Cincotta, analyst at City Index, said: "Retailers were out of favour throughout the day, following disappointing numbers from Marks & Spencer".

Rowe added changes were underway at the retailer to "get the business back on track" this year.

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