Financial services was the fastest growing area of Tesco's business in 2001, revealed Sir Terry Leahy. Profits at Tesco Personal Finance ­ a 50:50 joint venture with the Royal Bank of Scotland ­ leaped from £6m last year to £40m this year, making Tesco "probably the most successful ever entrant into the financial services industry" he said. There is also enormous potential for growth, as Tesco still has a relatively low market share in this area. The division now has more than 2.5 million customer accounts, more than 1 million credit card holders and 500,000 motor insurance customers. The second major growth driver has been non food, showing 18% sales growth over last year, said Sir Terry. Within that, home entertainment sales have grown 80% and Tesco is now the UK market leader by volume in health and beauty products. At Christmas, non food sales at Tesco.com ­ now "strongly profitable in the UK" ­ topped £1m a week. Tesco is now moving towards a continuous replenishment system in non food after introducing it to grocery. {{NEWS }}

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