UK supermarket giant Tesco recorded unprecedented sales growth for the crucial trading period over the Christmas weeks.

Announcing a trading update on Thursday morning, Tesco said sales at its core business in the UK and Ireland grew by more than 6% in the 19 weeks to early January 2021, which includes the crucial Christmas trading period, to just under £18.2bn (€20.4bn).

At its UK stores, Tesco reported sales growth of more than 7% for the 19-week period to just under £15bn (€16.5bn).

Sales grew by almost 9% at Tesco’s UK stores over the Christmas weeks.

Strongest growth

Tesco saw the strongest growth of all at its range of stores in Ireland.

Tesco Ireland recorded sales growth over more than 12% in the 19-week period to just over £1bn (€1.1bn), with sales up 13% in the Christmas weeks.

Tesco said it is the “clear market leader” for online groceries in Ireland, with record sales growth of almost 70% in the period for online grocery sales.

Tesco said the strong sales growth at its UK and Ireland supermarkets more than offset an 8% decline in sales from its wholesale business Booker, which has significant exposure to the catering and food service industry.

Tesco’s new CEO Ken Murphy said the supermarket giant had outperformed the wider grocery market every week over the crucial Christmas trading weeks.