Tesco sales growth slowed in the first quarter of the year due to a “subdued” UK market.
The supermarket, which is the largest in the UK, said sales hit £9.08bn in its core market, representing like-for-like sales growth of 0.4 per cent.
Analysts had predicted growth in a range of flat up to one per cent. Last quarter the grocers reported sales growth of 1.7 per cent.
However, Tesco said it outperformed the market overall in both sales and volume terms by 0.2 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “We have had a strong start to the year, growing ahead of the UK market on both a volume and value basis.
“Our customer offer is more competitive than ever, with a wider choice of our “Exclusively at Tesco” products now available in more stores, helping to drive more than 10 per cent sales growth across the range.”
Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director at Fidelity Personal Investing, said: “Chief executive Dave Lewis may call the supermarket sector ‘subdued’ but what he really means is ultra-competitive. One of its fiercest rivals, Lidl, wouldn’t be opening 40 new stores in the south east in a less-than-buoyant market.”
Group sales grew 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis, reaching £13.9bn. Online grocery sales were up seven per cent year-on-year driven by customers choosing to “Click and Collect” their orders.