Tesco defies downturn to post record profits

Tesco says it is aiming to become as strong in non-food as food retailing as it posted record profits for a British retailer of 3.13bn for the 12 months to end of February.

 Tesco says it is aiming to become as strong in non-food as food retailing as it posted record profits for a British retailer of £3.13bn for the 12 months to end of February.

The retailer said this morning it is “coping well with the effects of the downturn” as it revealed it boosted its profits by 10%, as a strong performance in its UK core business offset losses in areas such as its US Fresh & Easy chain and its online arm Tesco Direct

The supermarket group, which employs 440,000 people in about 4,000 stores across 14 countries, also said on Tuesday it had made a good start to its 2009-10 year during which it planned to add 26,000 jobs and more than 8 million square feet of new space.

It also says it plans to “relaunch and invest substantially more” in its loyalty program Tesco Clubcard “in the coming weeks” to improve “service and availability” areas of it’s offering to shoppers.

Other initiatives it is mooting for 2009/10 to support its non-food expansion include adding clothing to its Tesco Direct ranges. Such moves follow revelations earlier this week that it intends to take-on Carphone Warehouse in the mobile retail market with the opening of “around 100” Phone Shops in UK Tesco stores this financial year.

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