Gifts Today magazine

Tesco sales return to growth

The UK’s biggest retailer reports its first quarterly growth for three years

Supermarket group, Tesco, has reported its first quarter of UK sales growth for over three years.

The company says UK sales at stores open over a year rose 0.9 per cent in the 13 weeks to February 27, its fiscal fourth quarter, building on growth over its six-week Christmas trading period.

Tesco has also reported a full year operating profit before one-off items of 944 million pounds (US$1.3 billion), just ahead of analysts' expectations of 932 million pounds and the 940 million pounds it made in 2014-15.

Chief executive Dave Lewis, who joined the supermarket in 2014, says he had made significant progress in “rebuilding trust in Tesco and our investment case”.

"We have regained competitiveness in the UK with significantly better service, a simpler range, record levels of availability and lower and more stable prices," he says. "More customers are buying more things more often at Tesco."

However, while the results show Tesco’s trading has turned a corner, Lewis was reluctant to call the end of falling sales, stressing the group continued to face a “challenging, deflationary and uncertain market”.

Lewis is aiming to return Tesco to its former glory with a focus on lower prices, streamlined product ranges, better customer service and new simplified relationships with suppliers.

“We are confident that the investments we are making are leading to sustainable improvements for customers whilst creating long-term value for our shareholders,” adds Lewis.

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