Tesco is festive victor reporting record Christmas sales

M&S store

GETTY BAD TIMES M&S's Christmas results come amid its store closures

Total sales in United Kingdom however improved 1.1 percent to 2,858 million pounds (3,855 million dollars), while like-for-like sales decreased 1.4 percent in the quarter.

Non-tobacco sales at Booker Food Group, subject of a £3.7bn Tesco takeover, rose by 5.9% in the third quarter.

M&S shares -4.5%; Tesco shares -3.2%.

Group like-for-like sales grew by 0.9% in Q3 and were up by 0.1% in the Christmas period.

The figures were published at the same time as a slew of retailers' trading updates, with rival supermarket Waitrose seeing like-for-like sales up by 1.5% over the six weeks to 30 December.

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

United Kingdom retailer Marks & Spencer has posted a 1.4% decline in like-for-like sales in its home market in its third quarter, with Food sales down 0.4% and Clothing & Home sales down 2.8%.

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"In the Christmas week itself (.) we sold more food than ever before at Tesco as we made our offer the most competitive it's been for many, many years", he told reporters.

Supermarket Morrisons also had promising financial results.

According to its latest trading update, third quarter like-for-like sales in the United Kingdom grew by 2.3 per cent - representing Tesco's eighth consecutive quarter of growth - and total sales grew 2.5 per cent.

MARKS and Spencer sales fell over the festive period, while Tesco reported record trade.

It is also good news for the retailer after facing controversy over its £3.7 billion acquisition of wholesaler and convenience store operator Booker - which was given the final approval from the Competitions and Market Authority just before Christmas.

Today, Tesco released its holiday sales and it showed a 1.9% increase, a huge miss compared to the 2.8% estimate. "Price investment before Christmas and a strong performance from seasonal lines helped late trading".

Shares were down 22.8p to 301.2p, as the retailer's woes were compounded by a 0.4 per cent sales drop at its food arm. It upgraded its full-year profit forecast following the solid overall performance, but saw non-food sales, including Argos, fall 1.4% and warned of a challenging market.

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