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Tesco beats forecasts by slowing UK sales decline

Tesco has reported a 1.3% drop in UK sales for the 13 weeks to May 30, compared with a 3.4% slip a year ago, as chief executive Dave Lewis’s turnaround plan begins to bear fruit.

The supermarket beat analysts’ forecasts of a fall in sales of 1.6% to 3% for the UK. A breakdown for clothing arm F&F was not provided.

Lewis said: “We set out to serve our customers a little better every day and the improvements we are making are starting to have an effect. We are fixing the fundamentals of shopping to win back customers and relying less on short-term couponing. Customers are experiencing better service, better availability and lower, more stable prices and are buying more things, more often, at Tesco.

“Whilst the market is still challenging and volatility is likely to remain a feature of short-term performance, these first-quarter results represent another step in the right direction.”

Lewis, who joined Tesco in September, is trying to turn around the company’s fortunes after it posted a £6.4bn annual loss, the worst in its history, in April.

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