Leading supermarket chain Tesco has seen its half yearly pre tax profits rise by 10.3% to £1.09bn, with sales increasing to £22bn in the 26 weeks to the end of August.
International sales rose by 21.3%, three times faster than growth within the UK, following the opening of 149 Tesco stores overseas in the first half of the year.
Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, said customers had voted with their feet, adding: "With the recent launch of Tesco Direct and the preparations for our entry into the United States in 2007, we are investing into new markets to drive the long-term growth of the business."
Tesco also reported that a fifth of its UK sales were from non-food items.
Needless to say the latest profit report has drawn criticism from certain quarters who have accused Tesco of being 'over dominant and of driving out independent traders'. In a BBC report Vicki Hird campaigner for Friends of the Earth commented: "Tesco's booming profits are rooted in rock-bottom prices to farmers and a wholesale takeover of the High Street."