Markets

Tesco is festive victor reporting record Christmas sales

Tesco is festive victor reporting record Christmas sales

The festive sales fall comes after it gave hope last November that its turnaround was gaining traction in the embattled clothing and home division, when second-quarter sales dipped by just 0.1%.

British builder Barratt fell 2.7 percent, after it posted a flat sales rate in the last six months of 2017 while Taylor Wimpey edged down 1.8 percent, continuing a slide from the previous session, when it said full-year results for 2017 would be in line with expectations.

Retail bellwether Marks & Spencer reported mixed trading after another fall in fashion sales and sluggish trading in its food halls.

Rowe said M&S's clothing and homeware revenue grew both in-store and online over the weeks leading up to Christmas, and the retailer held its full prices when others were cutting theirs. "As a result, we carried more stock into the December sale".

Sainsbury's, Britain's second-largest supermarket, and fourth-ranked Morrisons both beat forecasts for Christmas trading but fell 2.1 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.

The clothing market was particularly weak in October and food sales have been continuously underperforming, he said.

Meanwhile, UK like-for-like sales during the Christmas period rose by 1.9% and total sales was up by 2.1 per cent, driven by a strong grocery performance.

Chief executive Charles Wilson said: "Booker Group had another good quarter with like-for-like non tobacco sales up 6.2 per cent".

As of 08:43 GMT, Tesco's share price had given up 2.88 percent to 205.80p, underperforming the broader United Kingdom market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index now standing 0.09 percent higher at 7,755.91 points.

It was a record Black Friday for John Lewis, and sales at John Lewis Partnership, which includes Waitrose, rose to 2.5 percent.

Lewis's strategy to rebuild Tesco following an accounting scandal in 2014 has been based on increasing food sales. This figure was aided by 3.6 percent growth at its department store chain.

He added: "It is within food that many rivals have closed the gap on M&S in terms of innovation and premium ranges, while also putting M&S's prices in sharp relief".

Chief executive Dave Lewis said the business had again worked with suppliers to try and limit the impact of higher costs on shoppers.

The uneven performance also played out among the smaller players, with profit warnings from the likes of Moss Bros and Mothercare after they saw sales plummet.