Tesco sales outperform rival chains' for first time since Clarke took the helm, as firm considers axing US stores
The chief executive of Tesco has been boosted by industry data showing the supermarket giant has delivered sales growth ahead of Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons for the first time since he took the helm nearly two years ago.
Alongside its third-quarter results today, Philip Clarke is also expected to unveil a strategic review of Tesco's US operation Fresh & Easy as he comes under renewed pressure to take decisive action on the troubled chain. Fresh & Easy is expected to post slower sales growth in the quarter and has not made a profit since launching in California in 2007.
In the UK, Mr Clarke is likely to blame a sluggish performance in non-food, which is being hit by a squeeze on household budgets, for a fall of up to 1 per cent in its like-for-like sales over the 13 weeks to 24 November.
While this will mark a deterioration on the 0.1 per cent rise in its second quarter, Mr Clarke is expected to point to Tesco outperforming its rivals over recent weeks. According to Kantar Worldpanel data seen by The Independent, the UK's biggest retailer grew food and drink sales by 5.6 per cent over the four weeks to 25 November, compared with 3.6 per cent at Sainsbury's and 2.5 per cent at Asda.
Sales actually fell by 2.1 per cent at Morrisons but rocketed by 32.1 per cent at discounter Aldi.
The figures are a fillip for Mr Clarke, who unveiled a profit warning in January. Even including non-food, Tesco is understood to have posted total till roll sales up by 2.7 per cent over the four weeks, which is ahead of its rivals for the first time since Mr Clarke took the helm in March 2011.
This compares with 2.5 per cent growth for the market, 1.4 per cent at Sainsbury's and 1.7 per cent at Asda. The trading woes of Morrisons are laid bare by a 1.7 per cent fall over the period.
Tesco is struggling to make it big in America at its 199-store Fresh & Easy chain in California, Nevada and Arizona. Fresh & Easy is expected to post sales growth of 4 per cent in its third quarter, a decline on the rise of 6.9 per cent in its second quarter.
Tesco, which has stores in 13 countries, saw its profits fall by 11.6 per cent to £1.7bn over the six months to 25 August, the first drop for 18 years.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...