StockMarketWire.com - Tesco said sales growth in its core UK business slowed in the first quarter, but added that it had outperformed a 'subdued' grocery market amid a strong easter.

The group reported UK like-for-like sales growth of 0.4% for the 13 weeks to May 25, down from a pace of 1.7% growth seen in the previous quarter.

UK online grocery sales were up 7.0% year-on-year, tough the closure of Tesco Direct in July last year dragged total UK sales growth down by 0.8%, the company said.

In its fresh food segment, volume outperformance was particularly strong in prepared foods, up 2.4% and bakery and dairy up 1.6%. 'We delivered a strong Easter performance across all formats, including our biggest-ever sales day for small stores on Easter Sunday,' the company added.

Booker sales were up 4.2% excluding tobacco.

Declining sales in Poland, including the impact of store closures and two fewer trading days, impacted Central European sales by 4%., and significantly cooler weather across the region further impacted sales by up to 2%.

In Asia, sales increased by 7.3% at actual rates. 'At constant rates our sales performance improved by more than 3% quarter-on-quarter to 2.6%, with a stronger customer offer contributing to a better performance across all formats and categories,' Tesco said.

At 8:54am: [LON:TSCO] Tesco PLC share price was -1.35p at 226.15p



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