Tesco (2)

Tesco has hailed its performance over the Christmas period after reporting a 1.3% rise in like-for-like sales.

"Our Christmas performance was strong," said chief executive Dave Lewis.

It comes after Sainsbury's sales fell 0.4% and Morrisons' sales grew modestly over the key trading period.

In the 13 weeks to the end of November, Tesco reported a 1.5% drop in like-for-like sales. Total group sales on a like-for-like basis were up 2.1% for the six weeks over Christmas, however.

Mr Lewis said: "We continued our strong positive sales momentum in both Europe and Asia, with our Thai business reaching its highest ever market share."

He added: "There is plenty more to do, but we are making progress and are trading in line with profit expectations for the full year."

The results come as particularly welcome news for Tesco, given its record loss of £6.4 billion in the previous financial year, reported in April. Like its 'big four' rivals, Tesco has embarked on price cuts in an attempt to fend off competition from the likes of Aldi and Lidl. Mr Lewis said its lower prices, and the addition of 4,000 'here to help' staff helped to boost its sales over Christmas.