Tesco has opened 37 hypermarkets over the last year to add three million sq ft of new
sales space to its international division.

Sales rose 29% for the year to February 28, while operating margins increased 0.6% to 5.1%.

During the year Tesco bought Turkish hypermarket chain Kipa and the Japanese convenience operator CTwo-Network and opened its first Extra store in the Republic of Ireland.

European sales rose 27.5% with strong like-for-like growth in Hungary, while Tesco claims it is the market leader in Slovakia. It said conditions in Poland were tough and consumer spending tight. And conditions were challenging in the Czech Republic.

Sales in Asia rose 31%, with strong growth in Thailand, Taiwan and Malaysia, but that the tightening of consumer credit in Korea had made for difficult economic conditions.

Next year, Tesco said it plans to open a further 51 hypermarkets and 51 other stores in overseas markets.