Giant UK retailer Tesco has shrugged off wet weather, investigations by regulators, and stiffer competition, to up its profits by 18 percent for the first half of this year, to nearly 1.9 billion euros.
It is a storming performance for the world’s number three supermarket chain, which has captured 30 percent of the UK market, and says it is now going to take on Wal-Mart in the USA, starting on the west coast where it launches its Fresh & Easy stores in a few weeks.
Among European retailers Tesco has become a collossus. France’s Carrefour trails in its wake and Sainsbury and Ahold struggle to make the same league in terms of market capitalisation.
Tesco is helped by a presence in 12 other countries, several of them in booming Asia, and it expects to create another 25 000 jobs worldwide this year. It has also now become so big it appears to be able to compensate for poor performances in any part of its business, although its British market dominace may be challenged this month by the UK’s Competition Commission.