But more stunning results in 2006 have shown Tesco just gets bigger and better. Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons may have all made significant progress, but Tesco is still champion.
Group profits before tax were up 16.7% to £2.21bn, group sales were up 13.2% to £41.8bn, with UK like-for-like growth at 7.5% for the year to 25 February 2006. By the time the interims came out, Tesco's performance showed no signs of waning as half-year pre-tax profits hit £1.09bn and UK like-for-like sales rose 5.5%.
Tesco continued to expand its non-food business. In September, it signalled its Home Plus non-food venture was past trial stage and was getting the rollout; Tesco Direct, launched in August, went from strength to strength and non-food sales continued to show double-digit growth. Tesco also ramped up its onslaught on the clothing market, announcing a massive investment to close the gap with Marks & Spencer and kicked off its an online clothing trials.
It hasn't all been plain sailing, however, There have been a few blips abroad - Tesco lost out to Wal-Mart on the Bharti deal in India and to Carrefour in a deal for Ahold's Polish operation - but it has now secured its US distribution centre and has plans to open 300 international stores next year. What could possibly go wrong?