Tesco’s annual financial results celebrate its first year of sales growth since 2010, ahead of its landmark merger with supplier Booker.
The grocery giant posted a 30 per cent boost in operating profits, once again breaking the billion mark ahead of city expectations with £1.28 billion for the 12 months to the end of February.
Within the UK, where it maintains its title of the country’s largest retailer, Tesco saw profits skyrocket 60 per cent to £803 million.
Recovery under chief executive Dave Lewis continued as the grocer posted a 0.9 per cent rise in like-for-like sales, the first in seven years.
Meanwhile, total sales hit £49.9 billion, jumping 4.3 per cent.
“We are ahead of where we expected to be at this stage, having made good progress on all six of the strategic drivers we shared in October,” Lewis said.
“We are confident that we can build on this strong performance in the year ahead, making further progress towards our medium-term ambitions.”
These promising results will ease concerns over the looming £3.7 billion merger with Booker, which many investors, including both of Tesco’s largest independent stakeholders, have voiced concerns over.
Many are worried the largescale integration will distract from the retailer’s steady recovery process following a costly accounting scandal in 2014.
Despite healthy growth under Lewis, comparable operating profits are still £2.7 billion below what they were five years ago.
Tesco hopes to leave the scandal in the wake of its rising profits as judge Sir Brian Leveson agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) which will see Tesco pay £129 million fine to settle the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into the affair.
This allows Tesco to avoid prosecution while not admitting guilt.