Tesco rings up profits hike after year of 'strong progress'
Tesco has posted a surge in annual profits as it hailed a year of "strong progress" after more than two straight years of rising sales and the completion of its £3.7 billion Booker deal.
The UK's biggest supermarket reported a 28.4% jump in underlying operating profits to £1.64 billion for the year to February 24.
Tesco notched up like-for-like sales growth of 2.2% in the UK after a 2.3% rise in the final three months - marking its ninth quarter of growth in a row.
Boss Dave Lewis said the group was on track to deliver at least £200 million of annual cost savings after sealing its takeover of wholesaler Booker.
The group also announced its first end of year dividend since 2014, with a final payout of 2p, giving a 3p full-year divi for shareholders.
Mr Lewis said: "This has been another year of strong progress, with the ninth consecutive quarter of growth.
"I am delighted to have completed our merger with Booker, and we are moving quickly to deliver synergies and access new growth."
The results also showed that on a bottom line basis, pre-tax profits leapt to £1.3 billion from £145 million after one-off costs weighed on the previous year's result.