Rowe said: "M&S had a mixed quarter with better Christmas trading in both businesses going some way to offset a weak clothing market in October".
In addition, Tesco's online grocery business contributed sales growth of five per cent, with over four million customer orders in the six-week Christmas period. Like-for-like sales and volumes in fresh food in the United Kingdom were up by 3.7 per cent, driving overall like-for-like sales growth in the country to 1.9 per cent.
"Our fresh food ranges performed particularly well, as did F&F Clothing, which saw double-digit growth", said Andrew Yaxley, chief executive of Tesco Ireland.
The group, which reset its strategy in November two months after Archie Norman joined as chairman, said clothing and homeware like-for-like sales fell 2.8 per cent in the 13 weeks to December 30th, its fiscal third quarter.
The company said it remained confident in its outlook for the full year and was firmly on track to deliver its medium-term ambitions.
This means for the overall 19 week period ending January 6, Tesco's United Kingdom like-for-like sales enjoyed a 2.1 per cent uptick, while its overall sales in the country rose by 2.3 per cent.
Tesco hails “strong” quarter despite Palmer & Harvey fallout
Food sales grew 3.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis over Christmas.
An ongoing decline from general merchandise was another sore point, falling 0.6% over the Christmas period.
However, he added that the collapse of the Palmer & Harvey tobacco supplier had taken "the shine off an otherwise outstanding performance for the period as a whole".
However, when taking all of the Big 4 retailer's worldwide markets into account, total like-for-like sales grew by 0.6 per cent during that period, but overall sales enjoyed a 1.8 per cent uplift. Supply issues emerged after wholesaler Palmer & Harvey fell into administration past year.
Tesco's update is the latest from the so called Big Four supermarkets, which also includes Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.
Shares in M&S have fallen sharply after sales declines in both its clothing and food divisions left a sour taste in the mouth for investors.
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