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Clothing sales grow by 7.3% - Tesco
Apr '10
Tesco Plc reported strong preliminary results for 2009/10. These results are for the 52 weeks ended 27 February 2010. The previous year comparison has been adjusted on a 52 week pro forma basis from the 53 week statutory basis.

Terry Leahy, Chief Executive, comments:
“By remaining focused on our strategy Tesco has weathered the economic storm well. Across the Group, we have successfully adapted our cost structures and ranges to help customers save money when they've needed to and treat themselves when they've wanted to. Our positions in international markets and non-food meant we faced strong headwinds when the downturn came but it will be these parts of our business which will grow fastest as the recovery strengthens.

Across all parts of our strategy - UK, International, Non-food, Services – our business is now stronger than it was before the recession. With leaner operations, improved market shares, strategic acquisitions performing well and a strong organic development programme, we're well-placed for sustained profitable growth. And with the balance sheet strengthening, we have strong foundations in place for improving returns on capital going forward.”

Group Results
These results are for the 52 weeks ended 27 February 2010. In the last full financial year, we reported a 53-week period for the UK, Republic of Ireland and the United States (US) and a 52-week period for the rest of the Group. Growth rates in these results are expressed for the UK, Republic of Ireland and US to coincide with the comparable 52 weeks last year.

Statutory numbers include the adoption of IFRIC 13 (Customer Loyalty Programmes). All other numbers are shown excluding IFRIC 13, consistent with internal management reporting. More information can be found in Note 1 to the preliminary consolidated financial information.

Group sales, including VAT, increased by 6.8% to £62.5bn. At constant exchange rates, sales increased by 6.1% (including petrol) and 7.7% (excluding petrol).

Underlying profit before tax rose to £3,395m, an increase of 10.1%. Group trading profit was £3,412m, up 12.3% on last year and Group trading margin, at 5.9%, rose 25 basis points. These were helped by the fact that Tesco Bank was fully consolidated in 2009/10 and accounted for as a joint venture for most of 2008/9.

Group operating profit rose by 10.7% to £3,457m. Group profit before tax increased 10.4% to £3,176m.

On a statutory 52 week basis (compared to 53 weeks last year), Group operating profit rose by 9.1% to £3,457m and Group profit before tax rose by 8.9% to £3,176m.

Clothing sales grew by 7.3%, including positive like-for-like growth, to reach £1bn in sales for the first time, helped by a 15% increase in children's wear and the launch of our online clothing range.

Clothing is now a strength across our international markets and a good example of how we are bringing global scale and skill to our international businesses. In our four Central European markets, clothing like-for-like sales grew 14% this year - following strong growth the previous year – in a market which has been declining overall in the recession. Joint buying – whereby 95% of the supplier base in Central Europe is the same as Ireland and the UK - has brought the benefits of Group expertise and scale, helping to improve quality and costs. The success of the F&F brand - for which customer awareness in Central Europe has grown in the last year from 34% to 61% - has helped Tesco become one of the largest clothing retailers across the four Central European markets in which we operate. The F&F brand has also now been launched in four Asian markets, taking the total number of countries to ten.

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Tesco Plc

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