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Tesco recovery on track as full-year profit rises 34 percent

Tesco recovery on track as full-year profit rises 34 percent
FILE PHOTO: A company logo is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Altrincham northern England, April 16, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo   -   Copyright  Phil Noble(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco reported a better-than-expected 34 percent rise in full-year operating profit to 2.21 billion pounds, cementing the recovery of Britain’s biggest supermarket by Chief Executive Dave Lewis.

“After four years we have met or are about to meet the vast majority of our turnaround goals,” he said on Wednesday. “I’m very confident that we will complete the journey in 2019/20.”

The supermarket group, currently celebrating its 100th year, is being rebuilt by Lewis following a 2014 accounting scandal.

Analysts expected Tesco to report operating profit before exceptional items of 2.08 billion pounds for the year ended Feb. 23, up from 1.64 billion pounds in 2017-18.

Group sales rose 11.5 percent to 56.9 billion pounds and the company recorded its 13th quarter of like-for-like sales growth in its biggest UK market, with a 1.7 percent increase in the final quarter.

It said it was confident it would meet the remaining goals in its turnaround plan this financial year, chiefly improving its profit margin to 3.5-4.0 percent. The group’s operating margin improved to 3.45 percent in the past year.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)

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