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Tesco in line for sales hike

TESCO is being tipped for a like-for-like sales hike of up to four per cent when it issues its trading update tomorrow.

The figures are expected to reflect a healthy seasonal boost as customers splashed out over the holiday.

Analysts predict that the supermarket chain’s doubling of Clubcard points over the period would help to secure a positive result.

The Tesco trading statement comes after an upbeat data from rival

J Sainsbury last week which revealed a 3.8 per cent sales rise.

However, the messages remained mixed on the high street with Marks & Spencer only recording a marginal 0.8 per cent increase while Waitrose saw a nine per cent boost in to sales.

Nick Raynor, investment adviser at retail stockbroker The Share Centre, said: “The recent cold snap may also boost sales as consumers look to stock up on winter essentials.

“As the first food retailer to release figures in 2010, Tesco will be setting the pace for others to follow.”

Tesco, which has nearly 2,300 shops in the UK and 4,308 worldwide, is Britain’s largest retailer.

Debenhams will also give a trading update this week in another indicator of how the high street is performing. And Home Retail, owner of Argos and Homebase, will also update on trading. Figures for quarter three of the year showed growth and the market is expecting a further boost.

Jeremy Batstone-Carr of Charles Stanley said: “The picture on the high street has been one of mixed messages all round.”