Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tesco Shrugs off Christmas as Profits Head for over [Pounds Sterling]3bn

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tesco Shrugs off Christmas as Profits Head for over [Pounds Sterling]3bn

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON ENGLISH

TESCO profits are poised to smash through [pounds sterling]3 billion this year despite the smallest rise in Christmas sales at its UK stores since the early 1990s.

The UK's biggest supermarket saw like-for-like sales in Britain up 2.5%, about half what J Sainsbury managed and far below what WM Morrison will report.

But it still enjoyed record sales in the seven weeks to 10 January and are set to top last year's annual profits of [pounds sterling]2.85 billion when the group reports in April.

Tesco shares gained 8'p to 359p today. Legal affairs director Lucy Neville- Rolf said: "We had a good Christmas, especially given the challenging economic environment. Not many retailers will be delivering an 11.6% rise in sales across the group." Fresh & Easy, Tesco's US venture, is "coping well with a severe downturn" in California, said the company.

Like-for-like growth is "strongly double-digit" for the 28 stores open more than a year. …

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