Tesco has had to survive not only the recession but also the loss of Irish checkout assistant Mary Byrne to the X Factor… yet they’ve come out smiling on the other side.
The UK retail giant has announced it is detecting signs of ‘a steady consumer recovery’ as it revealed a 1.5% rise in third quarter UK sales.
The supermarket chain unveiled that sales of its upmarket ‘Finest’ range were still selling very well and had achieved double-digit growth in the past two years. It also pointed to a rise in non-food sales compared with the second quarter, while Tesco Direct sales were up 30%.
Tesco admitted the recent snow had impacted trading, particularly in Scotland where many customers were not able to travel to stores, but it hoped to recover the lost sales in the weeks before Christmas.
‘Like-for-like sales in the UK will get more positive,’ said Tesco Finance Director Laurie McIlwee. ‘There’s a good, steady, slow recovery going on in the UK. It’s hard to call what the fourth quarter will be like, but it will be an improvement in like-for-like sales and we still feel there’s good growth for us in the UK.’
Mr McIlwee said its improved UK performance had been achieved despite a reduction in food inflation over the quarter, with prices rising by around 0.7%.