Tesco shares plunge despite Christmas sales growth

High Street crash

"Following another good staging post in Dave Lewis" time in charge of Tesco, Shore Capital reiterates our "buy' stance on the group's shares".

The supermarket says its efforts to pass on less inflation to its consumers compared to rivals could be behind its sales performance.

Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: "We are a business in transition; our focus is on driving profitability rather than chasing revenue at any cost".

The company also said that like-for-likes sales over the Christmas period were 4 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.

M&S got a welcome publicity boost earlier this week when Meghan Markle, the US fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry, was photographed wearing a 45 pound M&S jumper.

"We had a mixed quarter that started off with a challenging October but got better on both sides of the business in the run-up to Christmas", said Rowe.

However, the impact of an unseasonal October resulted in an overall revenue decline.

Investors needed to be patient and M&S would return to positive like-for-like sales, he said.

Over in the USA, the major indices closed lower across the board for the first time in 2018 on reports that China was reviewing its policy of buying United States treasuries.

But some analysts are still to be convinced.

The retailer also said that it head improved customer service by opening more tills and improving stock availability.

Tesco, whose CEO is Dave Lewis, is the latest United Kingdom retailer to reveal its Christmas trading performance, which has been a mixed bag of results. 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.

Online sales at M&S.com lifted 3%, while its ongoing move to pull out of global markets saw overseas sales slump 9.8%.

That trend was confirmed today by John Lewis (JLH) Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, who said pressure on margins at John Lewis and Waitrose had intensified in recent months "because of our choice to maintain competitive prices".

The group reiterated its confidence of hitting its full year and medium term targets. This would represent a second straight year of decline.

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