Shares in Tesco rose 7.75p to finish on 373.25p yesterday following the release of record half-year results from the supermarket giant.

Tesco yesterday reported a 10.3% increase in interim pre-tax profit for the 26 weeks to 26 August to £1.092bn, on group sales up 12.7% to £22.7bn.

In the UK, sales were up 10.2% to £17.4bn, with like-for-like sales up 5.5% excluding petrol. For the second-quarter, like-for-like sales, excluding petrol, increased 6.6%.

The results were welcomed by analysts. Jonathan Pritchard, an analyst from Oriel Securities, said: “I can't see how continued recoveries at Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Asda and Marks and Spencer can fail to hurt Tesco long-term.”

Richard Ratner, an analyst at Seymour Pierce, added: “This was a very strong update from Tesco, full, almost exclusively, of good news. We raise our full-year pre-tax profit forecast from £2.475bn to £2.495bn.”

However, environmental campaigners were less than impressed. Friends of the Earth supermarket campaigner Vicki Hird, said: “Tesco's booming profits are rooted in rock-bottom prices to farmers and a wholesale takeover of the high street. Ministers and competition authorities must put the brakes on the Tesco juggernaut and take action to protect our small shops, farmers and the environment.”

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