Tesco reports 2 bln pounds profit after 'exceptionally strong' sales

File photo - AFP

LONDON: Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, on Wednesday beat its guidance by reporting total adjusted retail operating profit of 1.99 billion pounds ($2.74 billion) after seeing "exceptionally strong" sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The retailer reported a 6.3% rise in group like-for-like sales, including a 7.7% lift in its core British market. UK online surged 77% to 6.3 billion pounds as it doubled capacity to 1.5 million slots a week.

Operating profit, however, fell 14.7% as the company incurred costs in adapting to the pandemic.

Chief Executive Ken Murphy said Tesco had shown incredible strength and agility.

"While the pandemic is not yet over, we're well-placed to build on the momentum in our business," he said.

It said that while some of the additional sales volumes would fall away as COVID-19 restrictions ease, it expected a strong recovery in profitability and retail free cash flow as the majority of the costs incurred in the pandemic would not be repeated. - Reuters

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