Giant supermarket chain Tesco has reported increased sales and profits for its full financial year ended February 2011.

Tesco Ireland

Although the group does not reveal a specific breakdown of figures for Ireland, it said that some countries that were slow to recover from the global recession, including Hungary, Ireland, and the western United States were now showing signs of improvement.

“In Ireland, like-for-like growth in the year was significantly stronger, and although it was broadly stable during the second half, the two-year trend has continued to improve,” the group said in its trading statement.

Excluding petrol, like for like sales grew 3.9pc at Tesco’s Irish division. The majority of this growth took place in the first two quarters of the year.

Overall sales totaled almost €2.99bn for the year to February 26, up 5.1pc from the previous year.

Worldwide results

Despite a trading slump in the fourth quarter, the group saw sales increase by 8.1pc to £67.6bn in the year and a 12.3pc rise in profits.

It posted a £3.8bn profit before tax for the 12-month-period.

The group’s new chief executive Philip Clarke said the company faced significant challenges in 2010 but believes it is well-positioned to deliver long-term growth and rising returns.

Clarke, who took over from Terry Leahy last month, said he has six priority objectives for Tesco to improve its UK and international businesses.

He said, “We can do better, and we are taking action in key areas — for example, to drive a faster rate of product innovation and to improve the sharpness of our communication to customers.”

The retailer reduced its net debt by £1.1bn to £6.8bn.

The results revealed today meet market expectations and were driven mainly by progress in Asia which contributed the majority of its profit growth.