LONDON Jan 9 Tesco, the world's third
biggest retailer, posted another heavy drop in underlying sales
in its main British market in the Christmas trading period,
adding to pressure on management to end a run of poor results.
The firm, which trails France's Carrefour and U.S.
No. 1 Wal-Mart in annual sales, is 21 months into a
turnaround plan for its main UK business that has seen over 1
billion pounds invested in store revamps, more staff, new
product ranges and pricing initiatives.
It said on Thursday sales at British stores open over a
year, excluding fuel and VAT sales tax, fell 2.4 percent in the
six weeks to Jan. 4.
That compares to analyst forecasts in a range of down
0.5-2.5 percent and a third quarter decline of 1.5 percent.
Tesco said it expected to report full year results within
the range of current market expectations.