British retailer Tesco reports sales rise

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Supermarket chain Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, said on Tuesday that its total sales grew 8.2 percent in the company's third quarter compared with a year earlier.

Tesco, which is the world's third largest retailer after number one Wal-Mart and French supermarket giant Carrefour, said sales grew 4.9 percent in Britain and by 23.4 percent in Asia in the three months to the end of November.

"We've made good progress in the third quarter with growth from across the group," Tesco's chief executive Terry Leahy said in a group statement.

"Our continued investment in the shopping trip and our new space opening programme across our markets are giving us good sales momentum and market share gains.

"As the global economic recovery gathers pace, our broad-based strategy, combined with our ongoing focus on productivity savings, is enabling us to maintain growth in a sustainable, profitable way -- delivering value for customers and for shareholders," he added.

Leahy had announced earlier this year that he intends to retire in March after 14 years at the helm, during which time he has transformed the supermarket group into Britain's biggest retailer and a global force.

Leahy, who turned Tesco from a solid British food retailer into a global operation also selling electrical items, clothes and financial products, will be replaced by its head of Asian, European and IT operations, Philip Clarke.

© 2010 AFP

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