Tesco reports 27% profits increase

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The company said its turnaround is firmly on track.

The H1 report showed its "turnaround is firmly on track" following the Tesco accounting scandal of 2014, revealed that United Kingdom like-for-like sales were up 2.2% while group sales were up 3.3% to £25.2bn from the previous year.

"We are continuing to make strong progress", said chief executive Dave Lewis.

"Today's announcement that we are resuming the dividend reflects our confidence that we can build on our strong performance to date and in doing so, create longterm sustainable value for all our stakeholders", said Mr Lewis.

United Kingdom and Ireland operating profits leapt 21% higher to £471 million in its first half, while on a statutory basis, group pre-tax profits rose from £71 million to £562 million.

In its United Kingdom and Ireland markets, operating profit before exceptional items jumped 21.1 per cent year-on-year to £471 million compared to the same first-half period last year.

Statutory revenue was up 3.7 per cent to £28.3bn while profit before tax rose from £491m to £562m.

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"It's a significant milestone in the recovery of the business and one which demonstrates the confidence we and the board have in our plans", he told reporters.

Two members of Tesco's financial team resigned in 2014 because they were concerned that their professional integrity was being compromised by what they were being asked to do by their bosses, a court heard on Tuesday.

The results come as Tesco is awaiting the results of an in-depth competition probe into its proposed £3.7bn takeover of wholesale giant Booker.

Lewis first stabilised Tesco, then got it growing again with a focus on more competitive prices, new and streamlined product ranges, better customer service and improved supplier relationships.

Tesco shares opened 1.5% higher on the news in London.

Danielle Pinnington, managing director at independent shopper research agency Shoppercentric, said: "Things are certainly looking up for Tesco, and the hard work over the last couple of years is paying off". Media reports suggest that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is expected to give its provisional findings by next month and a final decision by December. "If the Bank of England follows through on its recent rhetoric and starts to raise interest rates, Tesco's pension black hole could collapse, but Tesco won't see any cash benefit for the next three years".

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