Tesco returns to profit
Tesco has reported a return to full year profit and its first quarterly UK like-for-like sales growth in three years.
UK like-for-like sales, excluding VAT and excluding fuel, fell by 0.6% in the year to 27 February but improved over the course of the year, rising by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. The increase was driven by a strong performance across all store formats and product categories.
International like-for-like sales rose by 3.8% in the fourth quarter while group like-for-like sales edged up 1.6% in the period.
The results mean that Tesco was able to report a full year group statutory pre-tax profit of £162 million compared to a loss of £6.3 billion in the prior year. Group operating profit was £1.05 billion compared to a loss £5.75 billion previously.
Tesco said customers in the UK are responding well to changes as part of its turnaround plan which has resulted in an improving trend through the year in both customer numbers and volume growth.
Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, added: “We have made significant progress against the priorities we set out in October 2014. We have regained competitiveness in the UK with significantly better service, a simpler range, record levels of availability and lower and more stable prices. Our balance sheet is stronger and we are making good progress in rebuilding trust in Tesco and our investment case.
“Our process of transformation has generated broad-based positive momentum in the UK and internationally. We set out to start rebuilding profitability whilst reinvesting in the customer offer, and we have done this. More customers are buying more things more often at Tesco.
“As a team, we are committed to serving shoppers a little better every day, in what remains a challenging, deflationary and uncertain market. We are confident that the investments we are making are leading to sustainable improvements for customers whilst creating long-term value for our shareholders."
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