Oct 3 2012
Supermarket giant Tesco has reported a fall in group profits as a return to sales growth in the UK was overshadowed by a downturn in Asia and Europe.
The UK's biggest grocer recorded a 12% decline in group pre-tax profits to £1.7 billion in the six months to August 25 - its first profits fall in nearly 20 years.
There were tentative signs that the retailer's £1 billion turnaround plan in the UK was starting to have some impact as like-for-like sales excluding VAT and petrol grew 0.1% in the final three months of the period, compared with a decline of 1.5% in the first quarter.
But as UK sales improved, like-for-like sales in Asia and Europe fell into the red in the second quarter as shopping hour restrictions hit trade in South Korea and the eurozone crisis impacted its performance on the continent.
Meanwhile, rival Sainsburys reported a 1.7% rise in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel but including VAT, in the first half of its financial year to September 29.