LONDON, April 16 Britain's biggest retailer
Tesco said it expected tough trading to continue as it
posted a 6 percent fall in annual profit, its second straight
year of decline.
The world's third-largest retailer said on Wednesday group
trading profit for the year to February 22 was 3.3 billion
pounds ($5.52 billion), in line with analysts' forecasts of 3.24
billion pounds but down on the 3.45 billion posted in 2012-13.
Sales at British stores open over a year, excluding fuel and
VAT sales tax, fell 3.0 percent in its fourth quarter, the
sharpest quarterly drop recorded during Chief Executive Phil
Clarke's three year tenure.
The decline increases the heat on Clarke, two years into a
turnaround plan which despite billions spent has failed to stop
its core British market share slipping to a near 10 year low
under pressure from hard discounters Aldi and Lidl and upmarket
grocers Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.
($1 = 0.5977 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Kate Holton)