Tesco has reported a third consecutive quarter of falling sales as the supermarket chain faces increasing competition from rivals.
For the three months to 24th May, the supermarket said like-for-like UK sales including VAT and excluding petrol fell by 3.7%. Chief executive Philip Clarke said trading would remain challenging “throughout the coming quarters”. Tesco reported a 6% fall in annual profits in April. Tesco has admitted the fall in sales is its worst performance for 20 years.
Tesco has faced intense competition from discount rivals including Aldi and Lidl as well as from more upmarket retailers such as Waitrose. Industry figures continue to show the UK’s largest supermarket suffering a decline in its share of the grocery market. On Tuesday, data from grocery market analysts Kantar Worldpanel showed Tesco’s market share declined to 29% in the three months to 25 May from 30.5% a year earlier, while sales fell 3.1%.
Shares in the supermarket were 1%, or 3.5p, higher to 300.55 in early trading on the London Stock Exchange. Tesco’s international business recorded a 2.2% fall in like-for-like sales, including VAT and excluding petrol. Within those figures, like-for-like sales fell 1% across the supermarket’s European operations and 3.2% in Asia.
Tesco also confirmed the resignation of its finance director, Laurie McIlwee, after 15 years with the company, following what was believed to have been unrest among investors.
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