Tesco set to unveil sales drive – and pension blow

Tesco is set to unveil its third successive quarter of sales growth. Picture: Steven Brown
Tesco is set to unveil its third successive quarter of sales growth. Picture: Steven Brown
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Tesco, Scotland’s largest supermarket group, is expected to post sharply higher profits and its third successive quarter of same-floorspace sales growth on Wednesday.

The performance will be seen as cementing the group’s recovery under chief executive Dave Lewis over the past two years.

Broker Macquarie expects Tesco’s UK trading profits to have almost doubled to £316 million in the six months to end-August against £166m a year earlier.

READ MORE: Tesco Bank jobs at risk under Edinburgh office move

In addition, the City is forecasting a range of like-for-like sales increases of between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent in its latest quarter.

That would follow a 0.3 per cent lift in the first quarter after a 0.9 per cent rise in the previous three months.

However, a shadow cast over the improved performance is likely to be an expected ballooning pension deficit at Tesco, with some analysts forecasting that it has more than doubled to £5 billion since its full-year results in February.

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