Leading UK supermarket group Tesco has delivered strong growth and record sales over the Christmas and New Year period, despite tough trading conditions that hampered some of its rivals.

Group sales increased by 13.0% in the seven weeks to 8 January 2005, driven by all four parts of its strategy, Tesco said. UK sales grew by 12.1%, including like-for-like growth of 9.3% and 2.8% from net new space. Excluding petrol, like-for-like sales increased by 7.6%, similar to the rate of growth reported in its third quarter.

Excluding petrol, the company said price deflation was 1.6% in its stores as it invested further in lowering prices.

International sales grew by 16.1% over the Christmas and New Year trading period, despite tough trading conditions in some of the company’s markets in Central Europe.

“The group’s strong sales performance means that, despite higher energy and fuel costs and adverse movements in exchange rates, we remain confident that our out-turn for the year will be in line with current market consensus,” Tesco said.

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