Retail

Tesco's UK sales growth slows slightly

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Key Points
  • Tesco said on Friday U.K. like-for-like sales rose 2.1 percent in the 13 weeks to May 26, its fiscal first quarter.
  • That was a tenth straight quarter of growth and compared to analysts' forecasts in a range of up 1.7 percent to 2.5 percent and growth of 2.3 percent in the previous quarter.
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Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, said underlying sales in its home market rose in the first quarter, albeit at a slightly slower pace than before, partly reflecting adverse weather at the start of the period.

Tesco, which in March completed the 4 billion pounds ($5.3 billion) purchase of wholesaler Booker, said on Friday U.K. like-for-like sales rose 2.1 percent in the 13 weeks to May 26, its fiscal first quarter.

That was a tenth straight quarter of growth and compared to analysts' forecasts in a range of up 1.7 percent to 2.5 percent and growth of 2.3 percent in the previous quarter.

"Our growth plans are on track and we are pleased with the momentum in the business," Chief Executive Dave Lewis said. "We remain well-placed to serve our customers better and deliver on our medium-term financial ambitions."

Tesco, which has been rebuilt by Lewis after a 2014 accounting scandal capped a downturn in trading, dominates Britain's supermarket sector by a clear margin, with a 27.7 percent market share, according to industry data.

However, Sainsbury's' proposed 7.3 billion pounds takeover of Walmart's Asda would push Tesco down into second place, posing a serious threat to the group.

Tesco said total group like-for-like sales rose 1.8 percent.

It added that its growth plans were on track and it was delighted with initial progress at Booker which it brought to expand into the restaurant, cafe and local shops network.