LONDON (Reuters) - Tesco <TSCO.L>, Britain's biggest retailer, beat forecasts with a 2.2 percent rise in like-for-like sales in Britain for the key Christmas period, saying it outperformed the market in food, clothing and general merchandise.
Analysts had forecast a rise of 1.0 to 1.5 percent for the six weeks to Jan. 5.
Chief Executive Dave Lewis said: "In the UK we delivered significant improvements in our competitive offer and this is reflected in a very strong Christmas performance which was ahead of the market."
Tesco also reported on Thursday a 0.7 percent rise in UK same store sales for its third quarter to Nov. 24 and said it was confident in its outlook for the full year.
Analysts had forecast UK like-for-like sales growth of 0.5 to 1.0 percent for the third quarter, having reported growth of 2.5 percent for the second quarter.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)