UK supermarket giant Tesco posts rising profit

LONDON: British supermarket king Tesco on Wednesday registered a nine-per cent increase in annual net profits, helped by cost-cutting and its acquisition of wholesaler Booker.
The nation’s biggest retailer posted the gains during a tough time for British high street chains and in the face of stiff competition from low-price rivals.
Tesco said in a statement that profit after tax increased to £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion, 1.5 billion euros) in the group’s 2018/2019 financial year to February.
That compared with a slightly smaller net profit of £1.2 billion in 2017/2018.
Pre-tax profits meanwhile surged by almost a third to £1.67 billion.
Revenues, aided by last year’s £3.7-billion purchase of Booker, jumped 11.2 per cent to £63.9 billion.
In home market Britain, like-for-like sales — which strip out the impact of new floor space — rose 1.7 per cent.
The performance was praised by chief executive Dave Lewis (pictured), who was parachuted into Tesco in 2014 to help transform fortunes at the group which had posted a record loss in 2014/2015. Lewis embarked upon a radical cost-cutting and asset-selling transformation plan as also he sought to combat fierce domestic competition, particularly from German discounters Aldi and Lidl.
“After four years we have met or are about to meet the vast majority of our turnaround goals,” Lewis said on Wednesday.
“I’m very confident that we will complete the journey in 2019/20.
“I’m delighted with the broad-based improvement across the business.” Tesco is the world’s third-biggest supermarket chain after France’s Carrefour and global leader Walmart of the United States. The positive result comes in difficult period for British retailers. — AFP