Tesco Ireland sees sales rise over Christmas

Tesco Ireland has reported a rise in sales over the Christmas period.

The supermarket group revealed that sales over the festive period grew 4% when compared to the same period in 2016.

However, despite recording the highest rate of market share growth in Ireland for five years, the retailer missed overall group forecasts for trading in the festive period.

They saw their strong fresh food sales over the 19-week period up to January 6 undermined by a drop in demand for general goods such as DVDs and computer games.

The group said today its overall results were hit by weak general merchandise and a loss of a key tobacco supplier.

"We have continued to outperform the market throughout this period, particularly in fresh food, thanks to our most competitive offer for many years," chief executive Dave Lewis said.

However, he added that the collapse of the Palmer & Harvey tobacco supplier had taken "the shine off an otherwise outstanding performance for the period as a whole".

The company said it remained confident in its outlook for the full year and was firmly on track to deliver its medium-term ambitions.

The group also reported data for the third quarter, with Irish like-for-like sales rising by 3.3%.

Like-for-like sales in the UK went up 2.3%, having increased 2.1% in the second quarter.

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