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Tesco has announced its full year results with LFL sales in Asia showing improvement in Q4.
Although full year LFL sales in Asia fell by 6.2%, it declined by 3% in Q4, showing signs of recovery. Sales in the first half was impacted by the retailer’s decision to exit unprofitable bulk selling. Thai government’s issuance of welfare card, which could only be used in traditional stores also impacted sales by 1.2% over the full year, but this had eased in Q4. Profitability was recorded at £286m, down 4.3% in Asia. There was a marked improvement in H2, as the retailer successfully completed renegotiations with suppliers and progressed quickly on its store restructure and office operations plans.
Tesco repurposed a total of 26 stores, the majority of which were in Thailand where it had formed new partnerships with Mr. DIY home improvement, Echo Game & Karaoke play centre and Cosmo Beauty. 70 of the 72 new stores opened were in Thailand, primarily in the convenience format. There were also 56 stores closed to optimise its convenience network.
Sales at the group level was up by 11.5% at actual rates to £56.9bn, boosted by its new partnership with Booker wholesale in the UK. In UK & ROI, LFL sales grew 2.9%, including Tesco UK gaining 1.7% and Booker increasing by 11.1%. Central Europe saw LFL fall by 2.3%, due to a shopping ban on Sunday in Poland and lower general merchandise sales.
Tesco CEO, Dave Lewis said, "After four years we have met or are about to meet the vast majority of our turnaround goals. I'm very confident that we will complete the journey in 2019/20. I’m delighted with the broad-based improvement across the business. We have restored our competitiveness for customers - including through the introduction of 'Exclusively at Tesco' - and rebuilt a sustainable base of profitability.”
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