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Non-food sales up at Tesco but clothing takes a hit

Non-food sales at Tesco rose 9.9% in the first half of the year, but the supermarket said clothing sales had suffered during the unseasonably cold summer.

The UK's largest retailer said its F&F and Cherokee clothing brands had done well, but that clothing sales in general were "subdued", blaming unseasonal weather and cautious consumers.

Total non-food sales grew to £3.9 billion for the 26 weeks to August 25, with autumn sales including back-to-school clothing one of the strongest performing categories. But Tesco admitted that sales during June and July had slowed after a stronger first quarter.

Total UK sales increased by 5.4% to £18.3bn over the period with like-for-like growth, excluding petrol, up 3.5%. Total group sales grew 9.2% to £24.7bn, with underlying profit-before-tax up 14.3% to £1.3bn and group profit-before-tax up 18% to £1.2bn. International group sales grew strongly at 22%.

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