Tesco Declares First Dividend In Three Years As Sales Rise

Food health and safety breaches

"Sales are up, profits are up, cash generation continues to strengthen and net debt levels are less than half what they were when we started our turnaround three years ago", said Tesco chief exec Dave Lewis.

United Kingdom like-for-like sales in the second quarter lifted 2.1%, although this was down slightly on the 2.3% recorded in the previous three months.

Profit before tax rose to £562m from £71m this time a year ago.

Britain's biggest retailer Tesco said on Wednesday it would pay a dividend for the first time since the 2014-15 year when it was mired in crisis, signalling it has reached the next stage of its recovery.

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The dividend payment was $0.250 per share for the quarter or $1.00 annualized. 138 funds opened positions while 500 raised stakes. Avalonbay Cmntys Inc Com now has $24.64B valuation. (MWA) has risen 8.65% since October 2, 2016 and is uptrending.

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

The retailer said like-for-like sales in the United Kingdom and Ireland rose 2.2% compared to a year earlier in the 13 weeks to 26 August - the seventh straight quarter in which sales have grown.

But the group has come under heavy fire in recent days over its own-brand chicken after it was discovered that its supplier 2 Sisters had taken Lidl chicken and repackaged it under Tesco's Willow Farm brand.

Tesco's overall operating margin also up to 2.7 per cent from 2.2 per cent in the same period last year, and the company said it was on track to hit a 3.5 to four per cent ambition in its 2019/20 fiscal year.

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Tesco said: "Market conditions have been challenging with inflationary pressure being felt throughout the half but we have worked hard with our supplier partners to minimise price increases for customers".

In Central Europe, despite a 0.4% decrease in like-for-likes in the first quarter, the group still posted a marginal increase (+0.1%) in the first half.

Tesco, which in January agreed to buy wholesaler Booker for £3.7 billion, said United Kingdom like-for-like sales rose 2.1% in the second quarter.

The CMA has said there are 350 areas where there is an overlap between Tesco shops and Booker-supplied independent stores.

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Mr Lewis said: "We are continuing to make strong progress".

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