Tesco has recorded a 0.9% decrease in like-for-like (LFL) sales (excluding petrol) in the UK in the first quarter to 25 May 2013, with total revenue up 1%.
The retailer said the LFLs had seen improvement across all food categories, with the exception of frozen and chilled convenience foods, namely due to the recent horsemeat scandal.
The online grocery channel performed well for the group, and is the fastest-growing channel in the market, according to Tesco. It has continued the roll-out of new drive-through locations, where consumers can click & collect their groceries, and has worked to improve product availability and quality, it said.
Philip Clarke, chief executive, said: “In April, we set out our approach for growth and returns for the group, including a number of appropriate and realistic objectives for the years ahead, and we have started the year on track, despite a continued difficult economic environment for consumers.
“This is notwithstanding our planned work on general merchandise, which has held back sales in the UK, and a small but discernible impact on frozen and chilled convenience food sales due to the customer response to equine DNA being detected in four products.”
He added that Tesco had set out its plan to “put customers back at the heart of the way we do business”. This has taken the form of initiatives on price and ‘food trust’.
Group sales, including its international sites, increased by 2.7% (excluding petrol) in actual currency terms.