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UK supermarkets report positive Christmas trading results

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There is good news for Tesco, M&S and Morrisons as Christmas sales figures and Kantar market share data have been released.

Tesco has reported a 0.7% rise in the UK, as CEO Dave Lewis explained: “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.

“Our fresh food ranges proved particularly popular, outperforming the market with great quality, innovative new products and even more affordable prices.”

Marks and Spencer is also celebrating, as its sales for the 13 weeks to the end of the year have risen by 4.5% in the UK; 1.3% on a like-for-like basis. I am pleased with the customer response we have seen to the changes we are making in line with our plan for the business,” said CEO Steve Rowe.

In Clothing & 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.

Our Food business continues to grow market share, with customers recognising our product as special and different. Our Simply Food store pipeline remains strong.

As we look forward, our Q4 reported numbers will be adversely affected by sale timing and a later Easter.”

Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have also reported better-than-expected news for the period.

Meanwhile, analysts Kantar have revealed the latest market share for the supermarket sector, headed again by Tesco (28.2%, down 0.1%), Sainsbury’s (16.7%, down 0.3%) and Asda (16.2%, down 15.5%).

Year-on-year market growth has been helped by comparisons to a weaker Christmas in 2015, but sales were also buoyed by strong consumer appetite for festive celebration after a turbulent year, explained Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight. “Shoppers spent £480 million more at the tills than in 2015, leading to record sales for the Christmas period.”

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