Tesco store sign

Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, has forecast rising profits this year and announced a £1bn share buyback, as it lures more shoppers to its stores and consumer sentiment improves (The Financial Times £).

The chain’s total annual revenue, excluding VAT, rose 4.4% to £68.2bn for the year (The Mail).

Tesco has hailed a “substantial” drop in inflation for millions of shoppers as Britain’s biggest supermarket revealed profits almost tripled last year (The Telegraph £).

Tesco has said inflationary pressures in the UK grocery sector have “lessened substantially” as it announced plans to make £500m in efficiency savings in the year ahead (The Guardian).

More than 220,000 Tesco workers will receive a “thank you” bonus after profits at the grocer rose by almost 160% last year, equating to about £300 each for full-time workers (The Times £).

The Times (£) busimess editorial praises Tesco boss Ken Murphy and says he has “all the right ingredients”. ” Mix them right and Tesco shareholders should have tastier fare to eat.”

The Tempus shares column in The Times (£) says Tesco’s supermarket trolley is “full of goodies”. The paper has the shares as a ‘buy’ because the industry leader is “trading cheap while still growing market share”.

Asda has been forced to share draft results with investors after its auditor failed to sign off company accounts, according to The Telegraph (£).

Discount chain Poundstretcher is being sold to the owner of Majestic Wine and Punch Pubs, according to Sky News. Fortress Investment Group has reportedly struck a deal to acquire the group.

Swathes of the country were under flood warnings on Wednesday as farmers warned of a food production “crisis” after months of heavy rain and repeated storms (The Times £).

Prices of goods such as bread and other food made using grains are already rising and are likely to rise further, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (The Guardian).

Rampant inflation and “dramatic” cost increases have forced THG to cut almost a third of its workforce in the past two years (The Times £).

Shares in The Hut Group sank after the online retailer reported another year in the red and said it had cut 3,000 jobs over a ‘brutal’ two years (The Mail).

Pret A Manger subscribers say they are unable to claim their free coffees after having trouble with the chain’s app, with some threatening to go elsewhere for their drinks (The Telegraph £).

The Lex opinion column in The Financial Times (£) writes that record cocoa prices have left a bitter aftertaste for chocolatiers as investors inevitably worry that consumers will buy less chocolate on higher prices.

An opinion column on artificial intelligence in The Guardian says Amazon’s cashier-free shops takes a lot of humans to run. “This is how these bosses get rich: by hiding underpaid, unrecognised human work behind the trappings of technology,” the paper writes.

A key measure of US inflation rose more than expected in March, dashing hopes that the world’s largest economy will begin cutting interest rates as early as June (The Times £).

Monica Galetti has become the latest celebrity chef to close a restaurant as the hospitality industry continues to struggle against rising costs and the challenging economic environment (The Times £).

The owner of the Slug & Lettuce pubs chain has warned it faces a “material uncertainty” over its ability to continue as a solvent business as it struggles to refinance debts of £2.2bn (The Times £).