Tesco is festive victor reporting record Christmas sales

Tesco is festive winner reporting record Christmas sales

It said "ongoing under-performance" in its food arm saw sales fall 0.4%.

Morrisons said that it kept the price of a basket of key festive items at the same level as a year ago, despite inflation and the rising cost of many commodities.

M&S shares -4.5%; Tesco shares -3.2%.

Chief executive Steve Rowe said that consumers were "definitely facing a squeeze on spending" as the retailer posted a 1.4pc fall in group like-for-like sales over the 13 weeks to December 30.

Just today, fashion retailers announce sales revenues 10-25% higher over the Christmas period, as companies both young (Boohoo) and old (Ted Baker) see bumper demand, further projecting the image of the cash conscious United Kingdom consumer wanting bang for their buck, especially at yuletide.

The biggest fallers in the main index were retailers Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

The retailer also said that it head improved customer service by opening more tills and improving stock availability. "Shoppers expect quality and convenience for less than ever before, and M&S simply aren't offering that at the moment".

Reporting a continued deterioration of conditions, the company noted both falling food and clothing sales over the crucial Christmas weeks, extending a trend that has been dogging the company for many quarters, despite both segments weakened by less than expected.

However, general merchandise like-for-like sales fell 0.6 per cent. TCC Global director Bryan Roberts told City A.M. that Britain's biggest supermarket had not quite beaten its rivals.

"However, the impact of an unseasonal October resulted in an overall revenue decline", said Mr Rowe.

Global revenue stood out as the worst performer, reporting GBP309 million, a 9.8% drop on a year-on-year basis, as a result of the planned closure of owned stores in loss making markets.

Prior to Thursday's update, analysts were on average forecasting a pretax profit before one-off items of 578 million pounds, down from 614 million pounds M&S made in 2016-17.

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