Oct 7, 2020

Tesco profits surge as online orders double

Supermarket giant Tesco has seen first-half profits rise by more than a quarter as customers bought more food during the pandemic and online orders doubled. With more customers turning to online shopping, Tesco more than doubled delivery capacity to 1.5 million slots a week during the first half, including serving 674,000 vulnerable customers. While demand for food rose, clothing fared less well, with sales down 17.2%. Like many of its rivals, Tesco was forced to overhaul its strategy in-store and online amid the coronavirus lockdown. Tesco is in the process of selling its businesses in Thailand, Malaysia and Poland, but Mr Murphy said there was currently "No plan for further retrenchment". One of the items dragging down the balance sheet was Tesco Bank, which made a loss of £155m. Tesco said sales in the UK and Ireland rose 8.6% to £24.3bn, with overall revenue of £28.7bn. But it added that coronavirus-related costs had hit £533m. UK food sales went up 9.2% during the period, the retailer said.

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