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Supermarket giant Tesco has reported a 7.3% rise in clothing sales for the full-year, to reach GBP1bn (US$1.54bn) in sales for the first time.

Clothing growth was helped by a 15% increase in children’s wear and the launch of our online clothing range, the company said.

In Tesco’s four Central European markets, clothing like-for-like sales grew 14%, with the F&F brand gaining steam and also launching in four Asian markets.

The retailer said that joint buying – whereby 95% of the supplier base in Central Europe is the same as Ireland and the UK – has helped to improve quality and costs of its clothing business.

Tesco today (20 April) booked an overall 10.1% rise in annual profits as earnings in Asia jumped and the company boosted its domestic business with investment in loyalty scheme Clubcard.

Tesco reported underlying pre-tax profits of GBP3.34bn (US$5.13bn) for the 52 weeks to 27 February, a rise of 10.1% on the year.

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Trading profit was up 12.3% to GBP3.41bn, while group sales climbed 6.8% to GBP62.54bn.

Chief executive Terry Leahy said Tesco had “weathered the economic storm well” and insisted its business was stronger now than before the recession.

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