Anne Bruce Tesco is blaming a drop in its sales in June on Sainsbury having commandeered all the big World Cup promotional opportunities according to City analysts. Tesco has told the City in briefings ahead of its closed period that its sales slipped in June as Sainsbury was promoting heavily at national and local level. One analyst said: "Sainsbury managed to hurt Tesco and the other supermarkets by signing up Sven-Goran Eriksson and using Jamie Oliver, but only for June. "Sainsbury basically bought the World Cup in an attempt to kickstart slow sales in April and May." Sainsbury agreed: "Sainsbury came on very well in June," said a spokesman. "What with the Jubilee and on to an aggressive World Cup campaign, we saw a significant increase in sales, taking customers from Tesco." Despite the dip in June, Tesco briefings suggest it is still on track to deliver "low key, mildly upbeat" half-year figures in line with expectations according to analysts. One analyst said: "The moment Sainsbury stopped promoting, Tesco sales accelerated, and it ended the first half in a similar position as when it went into quarter two." Tesco has also admitted to the City that its international business was affected by a worldwide slowdown in quarter two. "Tesco's international sales slowed but not as badly as some of the supermarkets in the countries it is operating in," said one analyst. But Tesco scotched rumours of problems in Poland as it prepared to release its half-year results on September 17. Tom Gadsby, from Williams de Broë, said: "Tesco is secure in that market despite rumours of problems. It should be cash generative in Poland by 2004 to 2005." And another analyst said: "We are expecting to see the usual solid Tesco story in September." Profits at Tesco's overseas division soared 60.8% to £119m on sales up 37.4% to £4bn for the year to February 23 2002. {{NEWS }}