Shoppers have helped the world’s third biggest retailer cock-a-snook at the dismal global economic conditions. Despite the downturn, UK-based Tesco have reported a British retailing record – with underlying profits of 3.5-billion euros for the year till March.That ten per cent increase flies in the face of the competition, with the French giant Carrefour reporting a drop in quarterly sales last week. Tesco said growth in its Asian stores was strong. In Tesco’s main market, the UK, annual consumer price inflation fell to a 12-month low of 2.9 per cent in March according to official numbers. Retail price inflation – used to set many wage deals – went negative for the first time since 1960, pushed down by plummeting house prices.