Tesco in £1.8bn profit

Tesco has made a £1.8bn profit in first half profits – a 14 per cent jump from the same period the year before.

The world's third biggest retailer said the rise in underlying pre-tax profits came despite "modest" UK sales growth in the 26 weeks to 28 August.

Sales across the group jumped by more than eight per cent to £32.9bn in the same period.

Overall UK sales were up by around three per cent.

Growth was constrained by higher fuel costs as customers spent more at the pump instead of in store and due to low food inflation.

Outgoing chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said the retailer was experiencing "the tailwinds of recovery".

He added: "We have put in investment for the futures and there's been a lot of innovation."