Tesco’s Christmas sales were the strongest for three years with clothing like-for-likes up on last year and Double Clubcard promotions providing a significant boost.
Tesco reported like-for-like sales excluding petrol and including VAT up 5.1% in the six weeks to January 9, or 4.9% with VAT adjusted. Total sales were up by 8.3% compared with the same period last year.
The supermarket group said said its non-food performance continued to strengthen with improving like-for-like sales, driven by clothing, electrical and toys.
Online sales were also strong in food and non-food with total online sales growth approaching 20% in the period. Tesco Direct recorded sales growth of over 50%.
The Double Clubcard campaign saw £34m more Clubcard vouchers redeemed than in the same period last year, contributing 0.7% to the UK like-for-like sales growth.
Tesco’s results are ahead of City expectations, as was rival Sainsbury’s last week when it reported a sales rise of 4.2% over the 13 weeks to January 2.
Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said: “We’ve delivered a very strong performance over the Christmas and New Year period. It was a great Christmas for Tesco customers with an excellent seasonal range in store and online.”
Tesco’s group sales increased by 7.5% at constant exchange rates in the period.
In Europe, sales grew by 0.8% at constant exchange rates (excluding petrol) and decreased by 2.2% at actual rates (excluding petrol). In Asia, sales increased by 7.8% at constant exchange rates and 8.0% at actual rates.