Supermarket group Tesco has reported a rise in half-year profits despite a fall in underlying sales in the UK.
Pre-tax profit for the 26 weeks to 27 August was £1.9bn, up 12.1% on a year earlier. Group sales rose 8.8% to £35.5bn, but like-for-like UK sales excluding VAT and petrol fell 0.5%.
The company highlighted "excellent growth" in Europe and Asia but also "subdued demand" in the UK.
Rival Sainsbury's reported slightly better like-for-like sales.
Excluding petrol but not VAT, Sainsbury's sales rose by 1.9% for the first six months of the financial year. The equivalent figure at Tesco was a rise of 0.5%. More...