On the positive side, they report "a material improvement" in sales "in both Asia and Europe". And Tesco expect "this trend to continue into Q4 and beyond".
But on the less positive side, CFO Laurie McIlwee said "competition was intense in the run-up to Xmas, with promotional activity at an 'unprecedented level'". Consumers seem increasingly focused on cut-price offers, and even then they seem to be cautious in their spending.
Chemical companies supplying directly into the retail sector have been feeling this pain for some months. It has become very difficult to pass on higher oil prices, particularly with Retail Price Indices now in negative territory in many countries.