Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Tesco reported annual profits of £2.84 billion

Despite a the gloomy economic conditions, Tesco reported an 11.8% rise in underlying annual profits for 2007 of £2.846 billion. Group sales at Tesco rose to £51.8 billion, up 11%. Tesco said prices had risen by about 1.5% across the board, but increases in food prices masked price cuts in non-food items.

Online and non-food items helped to boost Tesco's UK business, while sales from its international stores also showed strong growth, up 25.3% in 2007. The supermarket group said it would create 30,000 new jobs worldwide this year, with about a third planned in Britain.

In the UK, like-for-like sales excluding petrol rose 3.5% during the year to February as Tesco battled a wet summer, a consumer slowdown and "recovering competitors". By the same measure, sales were up 4% in the first five weeks of its new financial year starting 23 February, helped by the early Easter break.

Tesco shares rose 7.29%, or 28.50 pence, to 419.50p at close of trade. (source: BBC News)

JJB Sports revealed a major blow to the high street today after it said it was shutting 72 stores with the loss of around 800 jobs. Details of the closure move emerged a day after discount clothing chain Ethel Austin went into administration and figures from the British Retail Consortium showed the first monthly sales drop for nearly two years.

It said the stores in question were unlikely to make any "significant contribution" to group profits and that many were already close to newer and larger stores in its estate. The sites will shut by the end of this month.

The moves were announced as JJB said adjusted profits fell 28% to £33.8 million in the year to January 27. A £25 million hit relating to the cost of closing the stores meant bottom-line profits fell 72% to £10.8 million. It said total revenues for JJB stores and fitness clubs for the seven weeks to March 16 were 3.5% lower than the same period last year, while margins also came under pressure as a result of the competitive trading conditions. (source: The Independent)

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