Tesco has reported its strongest Christmas for three years with its Double Clubcard promotions providing a huge boost to sales.
Tesco has reported like-for-like sales excluding petrol and including VAT up 5.1% in the six weeks to January 9, or 4.9% VAT adjusted. Total sales were up by 8.3% compared with the same period last year.
The Double Clubcard campaign saw £34m more Clubcard vouchesr 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.
Tesco said customers were looking for treats with 35% more bottles of Champagne sold than last year, and a strong performance on its Finest range. It said its non-food performance continued to strengthen with improving like-for-like sales, driven by clothing, electrical and toys.
The grocer said online sales were strong in food and non-food with total online sales growth approaching 20% in the period. In grocery, it delivered over 100 million items to almost 1.5 million customers in the run up to Christmas. Tesco Direct recorded sales growth of over 50% with a strong performance in toys, games, and entertainment.
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. The Tesco team delivered a great shopping trip for customers and I’d like to thank all our staff and also our suppliers for their tremendous efforts, particularly during the freezing weather.”
Tesco’s group sales increased by 7.5% at constant exchange rates in the period.
International sales excluding petrol increased 4.1% at constant exchange rates and 2.4% at actual exchange rates. The grocer said like-for-like sales in Asia, Europe and the US have continued the improving trend it reported in Q3.
In Europe, sales grewby 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. It said the Homever stores acquired in Korea are now fully like-for-like as it has passed its anniversary of the acquisition on September 30.
In the US, Fresh & Easy reported a stronger Christmas and New Year period than last year, with total sales growth of 35% at constant exchange rates, or 24% at actual rates, with a “strongly positive” like-for-like sales growth.