Tesco and Marks & Spencer report strong Christmas sales


Marks & Spencer enjoyed a busier-than-expected Christmas period, delivering its first quarterly increase in home ware and clothing sales in almost two years.

Meanwhile, Tesco has reported a 0.7% rise in its sales in the UK. The British firms's Irish sales edged up by 0.1% over a 19-week period.

Tesco's chief executive Dave Lewis said, "We are very encouraged by the sustained strong progress that we are making across the group. In the UK, we saw our eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and delivered a third successful Christmas."

"Internationally, we have continued to focus on improving our offer for customers in challenging market conditions," he added.


Reviving clothes sales has been an on-goign concern for M&S and today's results suggest that these efforts could be bearing fruit.

Like-for-like sales in its clothing and home ware business grew by 2.3% in the 13 weeks to December 31th.

Food sales rose by 0.6% - beating market expectations.

The company's new chief executive Steve Rowe commented, "I am pleased with the customer response we have seen to the changes we are making in line with our plan for the business.

"In clothing and home, better ranges, better availability and better prices helped to improve our performance in a difficult marketplace. We also continued to substantially reduce discounting, including over Black Friday."

Joseph Conroy, Newstalk.com

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