Tesco today said it was working towards a single online platform for its customers, as it unveiled a return to profit and to sales growth. The supermarket said it had been important to invest in its customer offer in order to become more competitive in “a challenging, deflationary and uncertain market.”
Group sales, excluding fuel, hit £48.3bn in the year to February 29 2016. That’s 0.1% up on the previous year. Pre-tax profits came in at £162m, up from a loss of £6.3bn last year. The company wrote off £275m in existing IT assets and infrastructure as part of its move towards a single online platform.
Chief executive Dave Lewis said the supermarket, ranked a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, had returned to being competitive, offering “better service, a simpler range, record levels of availability and lower and more stable prices.” He added: “Our process of transformation has generated broad-based positive momentum in the UK and internationally. We set out to start rebuilding profitability whilst reinvesting in the customer offer, and we have done this. More customers are buying more things more often at Tesco.
“As a team, we are committed to serving shoppers a little better every day, in what remains a challenging, deflationary and uncertain market. We are confident that the investments we are making are leading to sustainable improvements for customers whilst creating long-term value for our shareholders.”
Commenting on the results, Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of marketing agency Savvy, said: “While Dave Lewis is not a retailer, he is an inspirational leader and he has already reminded colleagues of what made Tesco great and how it can become great again. It’s a powerful message.”