Tesco says its customers’ loyalty helped boost sales and profit during the first half of the year as the business benefits from “tailwinds of recovery”.

The supermarket chain recorded a 5.9% rise in sales to £21.8bn in the UK and 5% profit increase to £1,2bn for the six months ending 28th August.

Like-for-like sales, which exclude new stores and additional space, were up 0.3% which Tesco claims outperformed market performance.

Tesco says its performance has been “solid” during “a period of unusually subdued” growth and low levels of like for like sales across the industry thanks to its continued focus on the customer and building loyalty through its Clubcard scheme.

In a half-yearly statement,  Tesco says: “Our strategy is to earn their loyalty by helping them to spend less - through low prices, good promotions and an increased investment in Clubcard.”

The supermarket claims to enjoy the highest level of loyalty among the major UK supermarkets as measured by the percentage of customers who do more than half their shopping with one retailer.

Tesco says while loyalty has decreased across the sector, it has widened the gap between its rivals and maintained its high loyalty.

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