Tesco ups shareholder payouts as profit soars in face of Covid-19

Shareholders in Tesco are in line for a major windfall after the supermarket giant said it would increase the dividend and make a one-off payment after profits soared by more than a quarter.

The company said it made a pre-tax profit of £551 million in the first half of the year, an almost 29% increase, on revenue of £28.7 billion, up 0.7%.

Investors will be paid a 3.2p interim dividend, up 21% compared with last year, but can also expect to a share of a £5 billion payout after the sale of Tesco’s Asian arm completes at the end of the year.

In March, the global chain sold off its Thai and Malaysian arm consisting of about 2,000 shops for £8 billion.

Following the sale, bosses promised to return £5 billion from the sale to shareholders – around 51p per share.

It marks the first outing as boss for Ken Murphy, who took over the reins at the UK’s biggest supermarket last week.

The former Walgreens Boots Alliance executive said Tesco would continue to invest in providing value for its customers through uncertain times.

“The first half of this year has tested our business in ways we had never imagined, and our colleagues have risen brilliantly to every challenge, acting in the best interests of our customers and local communities throughout,” he said.

“I would like to thank all our colleagues for their amazing contribution and I am delighted and proud to be part of such an incredible team.

“Tesco is a great business with many strategic advantages. I’m excited by the range of opportunities we have to use those advantages to create further value for our customers and, in doing so, create value for all of our other stakeholders.”