Supermarket Tesco has reported a 1.5 per cent drop in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks ending May 26th.
This figure excludes VAT and petrol. Comparatively, the grocer’s total sales including VAT and petrol grew by 2.1 per cent, and by 2 per cent excluding petrol.
In Europe, like-for-like sales rose 0.4 per cent.
A Tesco statement read: “Our performance in the UK has been steady during a challenging quarter for the industry as a whole. Overall, it was in line with our expectations and, importantly, improved relative to the market.
“Kantar data shows that market growth declined by 1.3 per cent, from 3.7 per cent in Q4 to 2.4 per cent in Q1. Our total sales growth, over a very similar period, reduced by only 0.3 per cent, from 2.3 per cent to 2 per cent.
“The industry remained very competitive through the quarter, with a significant amount of couponing activity.”
Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said: “Tesco has performed robustly in the first quarter despite subdued consumer confidence in all our markets.
"We are rapidly implementing our six-point UK plan and I'm particularly proud of the re-launch of our Everyday Value range and the fact we have now put extra staff into 700 of our stores – in 500 of them within the last three weeks alone. Our customers are seeing the evidence of the changes we're making and they're telling us they like what they see.
"Internationally, like-for-like sales growth proved resilient, despite slowing economic growth in China and the emerging impact of recently introduced shopping hours legislation in South Korea. Against the backdrop of continuing uncertainty in the Eurozone, it is pleasing to see that our businesses have largely sustained their performance."
UPDATE: Toy sales were not mentioned in the Tesco financial statement. Tesco has told ToyNews it does not reveal category-specific sales during its financial statements.
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