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Tesco Hungary revenue climbs almost 6% to HUF 705 bln in 2011/12

The Hungarian unit of UK supermarket chain Tesco had revenue of HUF 705.2 billion in its business year ended February, up almost 6% from the previous business year, the unit said on Wednesday.

The unit said it paid HUF 80.5 billion in taxes in 2011, about HUF 10 billion more than in the previous year. It paid HUF 12.2 billion on a "crisis tax" levied on retailers.

In its group level results statement published in London on Wednesday, parent company Tesco Plc said that the group's underlying profit before tax grew by 1.6% to £3,915 billion in the past business year, but it would have grown 5.4% to £4.01 billion excluding "two one time events", the Hungary sales tax and an increase in provisions in Tesco Bank relating to payment protection insurance. The Hungarian sales tax charge was £38 million according to the group level statement.

The unit opened seven new stores in Hungary last year, expanding its total retail space in the country by about 11,000sqm. It made about 500 new hires and spent almost HUF 19 billion on investments.

"In Ireland and Hungary the current economic conditions, and in the latter case the present fiscal environment, mean that we will pursue growth predominantly through existing stores, rather than invest substantial new capital", Tesco Plc said on Wednesday.

Tesco bought 1,800 tons of poultry and 1,500 tons of pork from Hungarian suppliers each month last year. Local products reached 74% of Tesco's staple food supply in Hungary, and it also exports food from Hungary to other countries, the statement said, quoting an independent research. 

Tesco is Hungary's biggest hypermarket chain, with more than 200 stores. More than 3.5 million people shop in Tesco stores in the country each week. The stores have almost 1,200 Hungarian business partners, and 140 of its house brands are Hungarian.

The stores employ more than 22,000 Hungarians.