Tesco makes £3.2bn profit despite the recession

Tesco increased its pre-tax profits by 9% to £3.2bn in the last financial year, according to preliminary results published today (20 April).

That rise in profits for the year ending in February was on revenues 6% higher at £56.9bn. The retailer also cut debt by £1.7bn to £7.9bn.

“By remaining focussed on our strategy Tesco has weathered the economic storm well,” chief executive Terry Leahy said. “Across the Group, we have successfully adapted our cost structures and ranges to help customers save money when they’ve needed to and treat themselves when they’ve wanted to.”

In the UK, price cuts, discounted brands and more focus on its Clubcard loyalty card helped Tesco increase UK sales by just over 4% to £42.3bn, giving a trading profit 6.7% higher at £2.4bn.

But despite the focus on lower prices, Tesco says quality remains a top priority, especially in its fresh food sector. “That’s why we have been investing in our fresh food offer with a wide-ranging change programme,” a company statement said.

“Improved technical standards, additional specialist staff training, closer relationships with our suppliers and significant changes to the way we merchandise some key products are helping us deliver a stronger range and better shopping experience for customers. These and other initiatives helped Tesco win the ‘Fresh Produce Retailer of the Year’ Award in 2009.”

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