Supermarket leader Tesco said it is "encouraged" by its second successive quarterly sales uptick in a difficult groceries market.
In a trading statement issued on Thursday (23 June), Tesco said like-for-like global group sales, which outstrip takings from new stores, rose 0.9% in the 13 weeks to 28 May. UK sales rose 0.3% over the same period.
The company also said it had agreed to sell its Harris & Hoole coffee shop chain to Caffe Nero. The announcement comes close of the heels of its restaurant chain Giraffe and Dobbies Garden Centres chain sales.
Harry Ramsden's restaurant owner Boparan bought Giraffe, while Dobbies was sold to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital, as Tesco renews its focus on supermarket operations.
Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, said, "We have delivered a second quarter of positive like-for-like sales growth across all parts of the group in what remains a challenging market with sustained deflation. Our new fresh food brands are performing very well, with over two-thirds of our customers having bought products from the new range. We are encouraged by the progress we are making."
The wider landscape remains challenging for Tesco with the rise of discount retailers like Aldi and Lidl. Earlier in June, online retailer Amazon launched its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service in central and east London, with plans to roll the deliveries out further across the UK."