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Tesco rings up £1.3bn profits as boss hails ‘strong’ year

TESCO has posted a surge in profits as it hailed a year of ‘strong progress’.

In notching up like-for-like growth of 2.2 per cent, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain reported annual pre-tax profits of £1.3billion after one-off costs hit last year’s £145million results.

Chief executive Dave Lewis (pictured) said the group was on track for at least £200million of annual cost savings after its takeover of wholesaler Booker for £3.7billion.

‘This has been another year of strong progress, with the ninth consecutive quarter of growth,’ he added.

‘I am delighted to have completed our merger with Booker, and we are moving quickly to deliver synergies and access new growth.’ Tesco confirmed it had started offering Booker catering supply ranges in its stores.

Mr Lewis refused to comment on reports it was looking at launching a discount chain to face off the threat from German players Aldi and Lidl.

Non-food sales fell 0.4 per cent but food was up 2.9 per cent.

There was also a hit from the ‘beast from the east’ snow storms after the group’s financial year end, which saw some stores close and deliveries affected.

But Mr Lewis said the company ‘recovered quickly’.

Analyst Laith Khalaf said: ‘Tesco is enjoying a renaissance.’