Tesco cheered by Christmas

TESCO hailed its strongest Christmas performance in three years today as recession-weary customers bought festive treats and its bumper voucher handout paid off.

The supermarket said like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 9 January grew 4.9 per cent, excluding petrol and adjusted for the change in VAT.

It said its Finest range was a "real winner", growing 16 per cent, while 35 per cent more bottles of champagne were sold than last year.

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Tesco handed out around 100 million in extra loyalty vouchers before Christmas and the firm said around 40m worth of those were redeemed.