Tesco's Irish operation has posted a 5.5% decline in like-for-like sales (excluding petrol) for Q1 of its 2014/15 financial year, according to an interim management statement issued this morning.
In reference to its Irish performance, Tesco said, "Whilst Ireland remains intensely competitive with high levels of untargeted couponing in the market, our performance there is starting to improve."
Internationally, only Tesco's Slovakia operation posted a weaker like-for-like performance in the quarter, a 5.8% decline.
Across the entire Tesco group, like-for-like sales (excluding petrol) were down 3.2%, with its UK operation seeing a 3.7% LFL decline.
Chief executive Philip Clarke said the quarter saw "a continuation of the challenging consumer trends in the UK, reflecting still subdued levels of spending in addition to the more structural changes taking place across the retail industry. We are determined to lead in this period of change, building long-term customer loyalty and positioning the business to win in the multichannel era.
"In our international businesses, we have applied the same focus to building loyalty and maintaining capital discipline."
Commenting in advance of the results, UK-based market analysts Oriel Securities said that the "near-term direction" of the retailer's performance "does not really depend on Wednesday’s statement. Management has to take firm action to grip the situation in the UK, which should not be allowed to drift any further."
Shore Capital added that "margin depleting activities" such as Fuel Save and Price Promise, which the retailer has engaged in in the UK, "are simply not working for British shoppers".