Tesco shrugs off recession with record £3.1bn profit
The supermarket giant Tesco has announced annual profits of £3.13 billion, the largest-ever earnings for a British retailer.
Despite the financial downturn, Tesco reported a ten per cent rise in underlying annual profits, with sales topping a £1 billion a week.
The chain said it was confident it could continue to make progress during the difficult economic conditions after reporting a 15 per cent increase in sales last year, and already a 12 per cent rise for the first six weeks in 2009.
Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said in a statement: "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."
Tesco employs some 440,000 people in 4,000 stores across 14 countries and has already announced plans to add 26,000 jobs and create an extra eight million square feet of new store space.