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Tesco Posts Robust Q1

LONDON -- Tesco Plc enjoyed a strong first quarter at home and abroad, logging a 14.6 percent jump in group sales for the twelve week quarter.

The chain's UK sales are consistently gaining in a tough market, helping to cement its hold on virtually all the growth in the market. It reported 11.3 percent sales increases, as well as 8.8 percent growth in "like-for-Like" store sales, "driven by strong volume and a small amount of deflation." Excluding gas, like-for-like sales for the quarter increased by 6.8 percent, after deflation of 1.8 percent." Petrol volumes continue to benefit from our focus on low prices," the company said. International sales were up 19.9 percent at constant exchange rates and by 27.8 percent at actual rates, helped by strengthening currencies in many markets. Like-for-like sales growth (adjusted for the timing of Easter) improved to 5.5 percent, which Tesco attributed to "a strong customer response to our price investment in Central Europe."

"The whole Tesco team has worked hard to deliver a solid start to a more challenging year," said c.e.o. Terry Leahy. "Our strong sales performance has put us in a good position to meet the demands of higher oil-related costs across the Group, rising business rates in the UK, the initial costs of our price investment in Central Europe and a tougher market for Tesco Personal Finance."
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