Strong international growth has helped Tesco increase pre-tax profits by 14% in the past six months.
Interim results released today (5 October) showed that underlying profit before tax was up to £1.8bn on sales that were 8% higher at almost £33bn. But tougher trading conditions in the UK meant like-for-like sales here (excluding petrol) were up just 0.3% in the first half.
Overall, total UK sales (inc VAT) were up 6% to £21.9bn, with a UK trading profit of £1.2bn.
The supermarket said it remained committed to its strategy of earning customer loyalty through low prices, promotions and investment in its loyalty card scheme.
“Economic recovery in the UK is slow and steady and I believe our investment in making the shopping trip even better for customers means that Tesco is well-placed to grow in this environment,” Terry Leahy, chief executive, said.