Tesco has posted a 6.8% increase in group sales (at constant exchange rates) in the first half of its financial year, to £26.7 billion (€29.3 billion), in its first set of results since the appointment of new chief executive Ken Murphy.
In its core UK and Republic of Ireland business, sales were up 8.5%, while Central Europe was down 1.5% and Tesco Bank posted a 31.4% decline in sales.
The group said that during the period, it adapted its offer to 'major shifts in customer buying habits' in the UK, with food sales up 9.2% and clothing down 17.2%, whole its online capacity more than doubled to reach 1.5 million slots a week.
Profitability was impacted as a result of additional COVID-19 measures – the group spent around £533 million in the UK in the first half on additional health and safety measures.
“The first half of this year has tested our business in ways we had never imagined, and our colleagues have risen brilliantly to every challenge, acting in the best interests of our customers and local communities throughout," Ken Murphy, who commenced as chief executive at the start of October, commented.
" I would like to thank all our colleagues for their amazing contribution and I am delighted and proud to be part of such an incredible team. We are absolutely committed to continuing to invest in value for customers and safety for all in these uncertain times."
Separately, Tesco has announced the appointment of Imran Nawaz as its new chief financial officer, commencing April 2021.
Nawaz, who has held the positions of CFO and executive director with Tate & Lyle and senior vice president of finance for Mondelēz Europe, has a 'proven track record of financial leadership and extensive knowledge of the global food industry', Tesco said.
"After an extensive search and selection process, I am delighted to welcome Imran to our Board as CFO," commented Tesco chairman John Allan. "He brings a wealth of skills, experience and knowledge in the food sector and will be an incredibly valuable asset to Tesco."
© 2020 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