Tesco posts 2% profit rise, lifts interim dividend

Tesco PLC’s (TSCO.LN) first-half pretax profit rose 2% on the back of an increase in second-quarter sales in the U.K. and Ireland, the company said Wednesday, adding that it will raise its interim dividend.

The U.K.’s biggest grocer by market share made a pretax profit of 564 million pounds ($732.7 million) for the 26 weeks ended Aug. 25 compared with a pretax profit of GBP553 million in the year-earlier period.

Group revenue increased to GBP31.73 billion from GBP28.34 billion a year earlier, against a forecast of GBP31.65 billion based on two analysts polled by FactSet.

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Operating profit for the first half of fiscal 2019 declined to GBP819 million from GBP876 million.

Like-for-like sales in the U.K. and Ireland rose 3.8% on year as they strengthened in the second quarter, the company said.

Tesco raised the interim dividend to 1.67 pence a share from 1.00 pence a year earlier, when it resumed dividend payments following a hiatus that lasted over two years.

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