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Tesco says it outperformed peers in the UK with its best Christmas for three years

Supermarket giant Tesco (LSE: TSCO) said its UK business was outperforming the industry as a whole, while it has continued to experience improving trends internationally with positive sales growth in Asia, Europe and the United States. Overall group sales increased by 7.5% in the six weeks to 9 January 2010, at constant exchange rates. 

"We've delivered a very strong performance over the Christmas and New Year period.”, Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy said.

The FTSE100 constituent had a strong performance in the UK with the group’s strongest Christmas period for three years, recording a 8.3% increase in total sales for the crucial six weeks' trading. Tesco made a concerted effort to incentivise its customers, offering double Clubcard points in addition to offers both in store and online.

It would seem that many Tesco customers sought a merrier Christmas in 2009 as, according to the super-market retailer, its customers bought 35% more bottles of Champagne than in the previous year. Tesco said its online sales performance was also very strong among both food and non-food items, total online sales growth approached 20% in the period. 

Internationally, Tesco’s businesses continued it recent growth over the Christmas period, delivering a 4.1% increase in total sales at constant exchange rates. The Fresh & Easy branded stores in the US were particularly strong, with total sales growth of 35% at constant exchange rates.

Tesco expects to release its preliminary results for 2009/10 on 20 April 2010.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company