Tesco profits top £3bn
Supermarket Tesco today said it had rung up sales of £1bn a week and annual profits of more than £3bn for the first time in its history.
The retail giant posted sales of £54.3bn in the 12 months to 28 February, while its underlying pre-tax profits set another milestone - up 8.8 per cent to £3.13bn.
But the growth in profits was far lower than the 11.8 per cent seen the previous year after what has been a tough time for Tesco amid stiff competition and a consumer spending slump.
The profits haul - believed to be the biggest ever for a British retailer - came after UK like-for-like sales grew 3 per cent over the year, with growth in the fourth quarter of 2.7 per cent.
However, Tesco has lagged behind rivals such as Morrisons and Sainsbury's - which saw full-year sales rise 7.9 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively - as hard-up shoppers have switched in search of the best value.
It said sales in the second half of its year had been held back by a combination of "recovering competitors and more subdued customer demand", particularly of non-food products.
But more recent figures reveal a slight improvement in trading, with UK same store sales up 3.4 per cent, excluding petrol, in the six weeks since its year-end in February.
Tesco said the weak pound had been pushing up prices as it hit import costs and cautioned there was likely to be further impact over the year ahead.
It has sought to cut prices where possible to help cash-strapped consumers and confirmed it has hedging in place for the next six months to effectively insure against currency movements, which it said would largely protect margins and allow it to keep price tags down.
Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, said: "At a time when customers everywhere are feeling the economic strain, we are responding to their changing needs in all our markets by lowering prices, introducing more affordable products and offering even sharper promotions."
"In the current year we expect to trade the business harder to give what help we can to families whose budgets have become stretched and who are worried about their jobs," the group added.
Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Any terrorist seizure of the plane ‘would have required one hell of a piece of planning’
Croatia's second city to close 'worst zoo in the world' after reports of 'nightmare' conditions and 'depressed' animals
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
- 3 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £43000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global lea...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...