Ken Murphy makes optimistic assessment as he reports further strong sales growth

Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy says food price inflation is starting to ease, as he announced strong sales growth for the first quarter.

In a trading update for the 13 weeks to 27 May, Tesco announced UK and Ireland sales of £13.8bn, up 8.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis. 

Murphy said the supermarket’s “relentless focus on value” was a key driver for its success, as well as its focus on customers. 

”We are very conscious that many of our customers continue to face significant cost-of-living pressures and we have led the way in cutting prices on everyday essential items,” he added. ”There are encouraging early signs that inflation is starting to ease across the market and we will keep working tirelessly to ensure customers receive the best possible value at Tesco.”

Tesco saw 9.9 per cent growth in sales at large stores, and an online sales increase of 8.2 per cent as it grew its online market share to 37.5 per cent.

The retailer noted that it had achieved nine consecutive periods of switching gains from premium retailers, with sales of Finest products up 14.9 per cent.

Booker also saw retail sales, excluding tobacco, growing by 15.6 per cent, supported by ”strong availability and continued focus on choice, price and service, with a great range of promotions and access to fast-growing categories.”