Tesco Defies Gravity

Even in parlous times, the British supermarket chain is posting robust sales and profits, especially in emerging markets

All eyes are on retail sales these days as a measure of consumer sentiment in shaky economic times. On Apr. 15, British-based supermarket chain Tesco (TSCO.L), the world's third-largest general retailer after Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Carrefour (CARR.PA), offered investors a welcome dollop of good news, reporting pretax profits up 5.7% for the year ended Feb. 23, to $5.6 billion, on a revenue gain of 11.1%, to $101.7 billion.

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