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Tesco earns £4,800 a minute as monopoly fears persist

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16/04/2007

Tesco, the biggest retailer in the UK, is set to announce profits of £2.5bn later this week, a 12% rise over last year, meaning that the supermarket giant is earning £4,800 a minute.

The firm has 31.4% of the UK grocery market and one pound in every eight spent in UK stores is spent in Tesco, a fact that has caused concern amongst consumer groups and independent retailers.

But Tesco counters that the UK grocery market is fiercely competitive and that fears over its domination of the arena are groundless, especially as more consumers are buying online.

 Debbie Harrison, retail analyst, said: “The firm’s UK network of 1,400 stores is delivering the bulk of the profits, with trading profits from these in the region of £1.92bn, which is a massive proportion of the earnings.

“But there are big concerns over its domination of the market and there is much evidence to suggest that smaller retailers are squeezed out when a Tesco store opens up in a neighbourhood, although they would deny it.”

Tesco is also expanding its operations overseas, with the first US store opening in Arizona under the banner Fresh & Easy, and the first Tesco branch in Beijing opened in January.

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