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Tesco food volume falls in main UK market

Tesco food volume falls in main UK market, US venture posts strong gain

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LONDON (AP) — Tesco PLC, the world's third-largest retailer, says food sales revenue in its main British market fell in the 13 weeks ending November 26 as the company cut prices on thousands of products.

Tesco said Thursday that the volume of food sales rose by 1 percent compared to a year earlier, but the value of sales excluding petrol and sales tax dropped by 0.9 percent.

Total sales including petrol were up 7.2 percent , led by an 8.2 percent gain outside the U.K.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy stores in the United States posted a 12 percent sales gain on a comparable stores basis, which excludes sales from stores opened since last year. Total U.S. sales rose by 29 percent, driven by larger customer numbers and higher average spend, the company said.

In Asia, sales on a comparable stores basis rose by 0.8 percent, well down from 3.9 percent in the previous 13 weeks. The company said floods in Thailand were a big factor behind the slower rate of growth.

Tesco shares were down 1.2 percent at 392.1 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

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