High street winners and losers emerge from mixed Christmas

12 January, 2018, 03:21 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Tesco is festive winner reporting record Christmas sales

Another to boast of a "record" festive season was J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY) which "moderately" lifted its full-year profit expectations as cost savings from its takeover of Argos are coming through quicker than forecast.

Tesco has posted its eighth consecutive quarter of positive sales growth.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, like-for-like sales are up 2.3% in the 19 weeks to 6 January as lost tobacco sales held back further growth.

Supermarket chain Tesco has reported that fresh food sales and online grocery deliveries drove a strong third quarter (Q3) and record Christmas period.

Food sales grew by 3.4 percent, and fresh food specifically by 3.7 percent in the six weeks before Christmas, Lewis said, but weaker sales in general merchandise were a 0.6 percent drag and the disruption in tobacco supplies took a 0.5 percent toll.

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.

Unsurprisingly given that grocery inflation hit 3.6% in December, food sales were the main driver of that growth, but the markets were disappointed on the whole having expected sales to rise by nearer to 3%.

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Supermarket Morrisons also had promising financial results.

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.

Total group sales were down 0.1% overall, while global sales were down 9.8%.

Marks & Spencer recorded a 1.1% uplift in United Kingdom revenue, but worldwide sales were down 9.8%, reflected the completion of the planned closure of owned stores in loss-making markets.

Clothing and homeware fell 2.8 percent, food also dropped by 0.4 percent despite being seen as the most successful sector.

Steve Rowe, chief executive of M&S, added: "In our food business, ongoing trading pressures continued in the lead-up to Christmas as consumer spending and choices reflected tighter budgets".

"Price investment before Christmas and a strong performance from seasonal lines helped late trading", Rowe commented.

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