Tesco UK sales grow for first time in 7 years

Thu, 13 Apr 2017
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Tesco has seen its first rise in UK sales for seven years and profits breaking through the £1bn mark.

Tesco's like-for-like sales in the UK rose 0.9 per cent in the year to the February 25, representing the retailer's first annual growth since 2009, while UK sales excluding VAT rose by 1.4 per cent to £37.7bn.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said that the UK sales growth was due to new fresh food ranges, with the company's "Farm brands" becoming increasingly popular with customers.

"A small team did all the due diligence and our competitive review last year, and we still delivered this performance... This year 99.9 per cent of our resources will be focused on improving our margins", he added.

The supermarket has streamlined its business had by selling off its operations in South Korea and Turkey, as well as UK subsidiaries like Giraffe, Harris &Hoole and Dobbies Garden Centre.

Last week, Tesco agreed a £129m fine with the Serious Fraud Office, which lowered Tesco's pre-tax profits by 28 per cent from £202m to £145m.

Mr Lewis said that despite the rising cost of products such as pork, tea and butter, Tesco was focussed on keeping costs lower for customers.

"The last place we would go is to consider raising prices, we would only do that after exhausting every other option," said Mr Lewis.

Shares in Tesco were down 9.5p, or 4.9pc, to 186.05p, in afternoon trading as investors digested the news they would have to wait until next year for the dividend to return.

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