Factbox-How British retailers fared over cost-of-living crisis Christmas

Shoppers hit the Boxing Day sales in London

LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer spending over the Christmas period has so far held up better-than-expected, providing some relief to retailers who had feared an escalating cost-of-living crisis would hit the key holiday sales period.


The British arm of German discount supermarket group Aldi said its sales in December rose 26% compared to the previous year. It highlighted strong growth in sales of fresh meat, with fresh poultry and pork options both up over 28%.


ASOS posted a 3% fall in revenues in the four months to the end of December. In Britain, its biggest market, sales fell 8%, hurt by weak consumer sentiment, Christmas delivery problems and a tough comparison against last year.


British discount retailer B&M said comparable sales rose 6.4% in its key Christmas quarter, showing that shoppers sought out value options as they grappled with the cost-of-living crisis.


Health and beauty products retailer Boots UK said its December retail sales were up around 15% year-on-year, highlighting strong sales in gifting and fragrance categories.


Fast food chain Greggs said its festive bakes, mince pies and salted caramel lattes, along with breakfast and lunch offers, appealed to cash-strapped Christmas shoppers, helping like-for-like sales rise 18.2% in its final quarter.


Halfords posted total revenue growth of 21.7% for its fiscal third quarter, the 13-week period ended Dec.31, 2022, but cut its annual profit forecast on weaker demand for bicycles.


Sports fashion retailer JD Sports reported total revenue growth of over 20% in the six weeks to Dec. 31.


The British arm of German discounter Lidl said sales rose 24.5% in the four weeks to Dec. 25 compared to the previous year.


Marks & Spencer, posted quarterly like-for-like food sales growth of 6.3%, and an 8.6% rise in clothing and home sales.


British clothing retailer Next beat forecasts posting a 4.8% rise in full price sales in the nine weeks to Dec. 30, highlighting a boost from a cold snap in December which helped jackets and coats fly off the shelves.


Supermarket chain Sainsbury's posted a 5.9% rise in underlying sales for the Christmas quarter.


Tesco reported a better-than-expected 4.3% rise in underlying UK sales in the quarter to Nov. 26, and a 7.2% rise in the six weeks to Jan. 7.

(Reporting by UK bureau)