Tesco has reported modest growth over Christmas with UK like-for-like sales for the six weeks to January 8 up 0.6%, saying it was “hindered” by the snow.
Total sales were up 4.2%, and the grocer said it saw double digit growth in its top-end Finest range.
Tesco said in non-food where shoppers were traveling to its larger stores, the snow disruption was “unhelpful”, and combined with “demanding comparisons” from last year, meant that growth was subdued.
However, it said it saw strong growth in toys, books and gaming. Tesco Mobile reached a new milestone, at more than 2.5 million customers.
Tesco Direct sales were up 18%, and it said it had a strong performance in toys, gaming and small electrical appliances.
Group sales in the six weeks to January 8 were up by 7.6%.
Total international sales were up 14.2%.
In Asia, total sales grew by 24.2%, with strong results in particular in Thailand and China.
In Europe, total sales grew by 5.6%, or 9.1% at constant exchange rates. It said like-for-likes were positive in every country.
In the US, it said Fresh & Easy reported total sales up 36.9%, and like-for-likes were “strong”.
Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive, said: “The group has continued to make good progress, helped by strong growth across our international businesses, which delivered over half of the group’s growth.
“Our performance remains solid but was hindered in the run up to the important Christmas trading period in the UK by the disruptive effects of the severe winter weather conditions. Our staff and suppliers did a fantastic job in delivering a great shopping trip for customers in difficult circumstances.”