Tesco has posted a 2.9% increase in like-for-like sales in its UK and Ireland business in full-year 2018/19, according to results issued this morning.
The retailer posted group sales of £56.9 billion (€66 billion) for the year, which was up 11.3% at constant rates.
Group operating profit rose by 33.5% to €2.2 billion.
In the UK specifically, Tesco’s like-for-like sales rose by 1.7%, while Booker was up 11.1%. As of year-end, the group had also opened eight discount stores under the Jack’s brand.
Central Europe saw a like-for-like decline of 2.3%, impacted by fewer trading days as a result of the Sunday shopping ban in Poland, and lower general merchandise sales.
Asia like-for-like sales were down 6.2%, although the group saw a slight improvement in the fourth quarter, when sales were down 3.0%.
"After four years we have met or are about to meet the vast majority of our turnaround goals. I'm very confident that we will complete the journey in 2019/20,” commented Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive.
“I’m delighted with the broad-based improvement across the business. We have restored our competitiveness for customers - including through the introduction of 'Exclusively at Tesco' - and rebuilt a sustainable base of profitability. The full year margin of 3.45% represents clear progress and the second half level of 3.79%, even before the benefit of Booker, puts us comfortably in the aspirational range we set four years ago.
“I’m pleased that we are able to accelerate the recovery in the dividend as a result of our continued capital discipline and strong improvement in cash profitability."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine