Tesco and M&S report strong festive sales

Tesco and Marks & Spencer released interim sales figures on Thursday showing a strong performance over the Christmas period.

It comes after industry data last week showed that UK supermarkets had seen their busiest festive trading since before the pandemic.

Tesco, the country’s largest retailer, said that its UK sales were up 6.8% in the six weeks to 6 January 2024, including growth of 9.2% in the four weeks to Christmas, boosted by strong demand for items in its premium Finest range.

Including its third quarter to 25 November 2023, Tesco’s UK sales grew by 7.5%.

The supermarket raised its profit forecast for the full year to approximately £2.75bn, from the previous guidance range of £2.6bn to £2.7bn and the £2.49bn reported in 2022/23.

M&S reported an 8.1% rise in like-for-like UK sales over the 13 weeks to 30 December 2023, with particularly strong food sales and a good performance in womenswear.

In its outlook the company warned of economic uncertainty, with “consumer and geopolitical risks” as well as cost increases for wages and business rates.

“Nevertheless, the strong Christmas trading performance provides confidence that the results for the year will be consistent with market expectations,” M&S added.