Tesco's results to show strong festive sales

The strength of Britain's high street over the festive period will be revealed this week when some of the country's biggest retailers including Tesco, Primark, Argos and others, report to the market.

Tesco is set to post strong numbers on Tuesday for the period covering the run up to Christmas and what the company described as a "post-Christmas sales spree".

Clive Black, an analyst at the broker Shore Capital, said: "We were originally expecting a 3 per cent like-for-like sales increase, but after seeing last week's Nielsen figures and data from Sainsbury's we are expecting that to be a little better. They've been pretty good across the board over Christmas and New Year, showing steady performance in non-food lines and online."

Associated British Foods, which owns Primark, is also expected to please shareholders when it updates the market on Thursday. "Primark will continue to outperform the market," said Mr Black. "It's a fabulous medium-term prospect. They've had strong growth and they've put down a platform in Iberia with stores in Spain and Portugal."

Home Retail, which owns Argos and Homebase, is also expected to post strong figures, while Halfords is due to show modest improvement too. Others reporting this week include DSG, owner of the Dixons electronics chain, and Co-op, the banking to grocery chain.

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