Tesco profits fall 6% to £3.3bn

Supermarket giant sees second consecutive fall in full year profits as it struggles at home and abroad

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke has come under renewed pressure after Britain's largest retailer posted its second fall in annual profits.

Tesco posted a 6 per cent fall in group trading profit to £3.3 billion in the year to 22 February. Its group sales edged up 0.3 per cent to £70.9bn. In the UK, profits fell 3.6 per cent to £2.2bn and sales at shops open more than a year fell 1.4 per cent.

Tesco said its “performance in the year was not where we had planned it to be".

The grocer has been battling problems at home and abroad. In the UK it faces stiff competition from rapidly growing smaller rivals including Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose while in Europe the Eurozone crisis continues to impact consumer spending.

Tesco also revealed a one-off charge of £801 million mainly relating to a write-down of assets in Europe, as well as a £540 million impairment relating to its Chinese business.

Chief executive Philip Clarke said: “Our results today reflect the challenges we face in a trading environment which is changing more rapidly than ever before.  We are determined to lead the industry in this period of change.

“During the year, we have maintained our focus on cash and capital discipline.  We have significantly reduced our new investment in Europe, focusing the majority of our overseas capital on targeted, high-returning investments in Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. 

“We have completed our exit from the US and established partnerships with CRE in China and Tata in India which provide continued access to two of the world's most exciting markets, consistent with a sustainable level of future investment."