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Tesco posts strong Christmas sales

Tesco unveiled a steady Christmas performance this morning which was driven by rapid international expansion and strong domestic growth.

Total UK sales at the supermarket giant grew by 8% with like-for-like sales excluding petrol, increasing 3.1% during the six week period to January 6. However, this was at a slower rate than the 4.1% like-for-like growth reported in Q3.

In the UK, non-food including clothing, performed well. Online was also successful with total sales up by 24% to more than £190 million. More than two million online orders were delivered during the six weeks.

Overall group sales outpaced the retailers' impressive third quarter results with sales increasing by 12.8%.

International sales were up by 26.9%, with strong growth in both Europe and Asia.

Meanwhile Tesco has banned all cotton sourced from Uzbekistan following BBC2's Newsnight investigation into forced child labour in Uzbekistan. Alongside the ban, Tesco is to implement a new system to monitor its supply chain introducing far greater transparency and traceability in the clothing and textiles process.

Terry Green, chief executive for Tesco clothing and hardlines, has written to suppliers explaining the grocer's decision.

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