Tesco reported group sales for the 13 weeks ended 28 November 2009 increased 8.8%, excluding petrol, with 7.7% growth including petrol. This was largely driven by a strong performance in international with sales up 12% at actual exchange rates, excluding petrol. At constant rates growth was 5.4%. Growth was strongest in Asia with sales up 18.9% (10.5% at constant rates), with continued momentum from the acquired Homever stores in South Korea. Tesco’s recession-hit European businesses didn’t perform as well, with 5.7% growth at actual rates and 0.6% at constant rates, though there are signs the outlook is improving.
Tesco’s US venture Fresh & Easy saw 37.4% sales growth, with stronger like-for-likes following the marketing push in September. Meanwhile, the core UK market posted 2.8% like-for-likes excluding petrol and VAT adjusted. The improving like-for-like trend in non-food is continuing with particularly strong performances in toys, electricals and entertainment in the run up to Christmas. In services, Tesco Bank has continued to grow contributing 1.5% to group sales growth.