Tesco says shoppers buying more food as inflation eases

Tesco has revealed a “strong” increase in the amount of groceries bought by British shoppers in the latest quarter as inflationary pressures eased.

The UK’s largest supermarket firm revealed total retail sales grew by 3.4% to £15.3 billion in the 13 weeks to May 25, compared with the same period last year.

This came on the back of a 5% increase in food sales, with high demand for fresh produce helping to drive higher sales volumes.

It added that sales of Tesco Finest products were “particularly strong” as shopper demand for premium products grew despite continued pressures on household budgets from higher mortgage and rental costs.

Tesco said it saw more shoppers switch to the grocery giant from other UK “premium supermarkets” over the quarter.

It said it expects to deliver an operating profit of at least £2.8 billion for the current financial year, holding its targets set in April

Ken Murphy, chief executive of Tesco, said: “We’ve continued to build momentum in the business, with strong volume growth across the UK, Republic of Ireland and Central Europe supported by easing inflation.

“Our market share reflects this, growing more than at any other time in the past two years, with customers switching to us from other retailers, shopping with us more often and with more in their baskets.”

The results announcement came ahead of the retailer’s annual general meeting.