Tesco like-for-like sales up 1%

Tesco has reported a 1% rise in group like-for-like sales, a growth for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Sales in the UK rose 2.3%, driven by a 2.7% increase in food sales. It is also the third year of food volume growth (1.6%) for the supermarket chain.

The Q1 trading statement released this morning said: "Total volume growth remained positive and similar to the fourth quarter as we continue to be more selective in the way we drive volume.

"This included a further reduction in short-term marketing activities in general merchandise and continuing to reduce promotions in our household ranges, favouring stable, consistently low prices and larger, better value pack sizes."

The report added that there has been a positive response from customers to the retailer's "Little helps to live healthier" campaign.

Dave Lewis, chief executive at Tesco, said: "In tough market conditions, we have stayed true to our commitment to helping customers – working closely with our supplier partners to keep prices low.

"Customers have responded by doing more of their shopping with us and as a result we continue to grow volumes, particularly in fresh food.

"This is a good start to the year, with our sixth consecutive quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth across the group."

Phil Dorrell, partner at Retail Remedy, added that the "solid" results challenge the volume sales for UK grocers.

He said: "Tesco are on a roll getting their customer mojo back; stores are easier, more engaging and comparatively better value than they were a year ago. Customer-centric decisions have helped grow sales six quarters on the bounce.

"For Lewis, fixing the operation is not enough however and he is hell-bent on regaining the power of previous decades and realises corporate relationships is the key."

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