£2.85 billion profit for Tesco

SLUMP, what slump? Supermarket giant Tesco today announced annual profits of £2.85 billion, up 11.8 per cent on the year before.

SLUMP, what slump? Supermarket giant Tesco today announced annual profits of £2.85 billion, up 11.8 per cent on the year before.

UK sales increased by 3.5pc on a like-for-like basis, excluding petrol, in the year to February 23.

The group has been under increasing pressure from competitors Morrisons and Asda as the supermarkets gain market share.

Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, said: "We begin the new financial year confidently - with a good start in the UK.

Tesco, which has around 30 pc of the UK grocery market, said the past year had been "unusual', with belt tightening among hard-pressed consumers also seeing subdued sales of some non-food products in the final six months.

But current year trading is proving resilient, with domestic sales up by more than 4pc on a comparative basis, excluding petrol, in the first five weeks, according to Tesco.