Tesco this morning (5 June) reported lower first-quarter underlying revenue as sales fell in a number of key markets, including the UK, Ireland, South Korea and Thailand.
The retail giant booked a 2.2% fall in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, for the first quarter of its fiscal year.
UK like-for-like sales fell 0.9%, with Tesco pointing to a “drag” on sales from non-food. Tesco cited improvement in food in the UK. It said its performance in every quarter was “stronger” in the quarter than in the final two months of its last financial year, with the exception of frozen foods and chilled convenience meals, which had been affected by the horsemeat contamination scandal.
Tesco, which operates in 11 markets, saw like-for-like sales fall in all but two of its markets – Malaysia and Hungary.
In Ireland, where Tesco is the market leader but has seen its market share fall in recent weeks, like-for-like sales fell 3%.
In South Korea, new regulations on operating hours have hit the retail sector; Tesco’s first-quarter like-for-like sales dropped 5.1% but the company said its performance was improving.
The retailer’s sales were also down in another key Asian market, Thailand. Like-for-likes declined 3%, although Tesco said its market share had increased.
Shares in Tesco were down 2.99% at 353.55p at 09:13 BST.
Click here for a round-up of what analysts think of Tesco’s results. Read why Tesco insists its margin target is sustainable here. And click here for Tesco CEO Philip Clarke’s comments on the retailer’s international business.