Oct 7, 2020

Tesco lifts half-year dividend

New Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy has signalled that he is likely to continue his predecessor's dividend policy after declaring a 20 per cent increase in the half year payout. Shareholders will receive 3.2 pence per share, up from 2.65p last year, the UK's largest supermarket group said on Wednesday. In April, Tesco's decision to declare a full-year dividend in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic attracted widespread criticism. For the half-year to August 29, Tesco reported group sales of £26.7bn, up 6.6 per cent from last year, with a hefty increase in food sales offsetting a steep drop in fuel as the UK's lockdown kept drivers off the roads. Adjusted pre-tax profit was £717m, down 18 per cent after the group absorbed more than £500m of additional costs relating to the coronavirus pandemic, including hiring additional staff and instigating social distancing measures in stores.

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