Strong preliminary results from retailer with plans to build 11.5m sq ft of new supermarket space this year

Tesco is to open 11 new hypermarkets in the UK this year, but the bulk of its new developments will be overseas.

In its preliminary results, the supermarket giant said it planned to open 11.5m sq ft of new space this year but that 80% of this would be outside the UK.

In the year 2007/08, Tesco opened a total of 2.0m sq ft of new sales area in the UK, of which 489,000 sq ft was in extensions. Nineteen hypermarkets were opened - 10 new stores and nine extensions - with a further 11 planned for this year.

Tesco's overall results were, as expected, extremely strong. Underlying pre-tax profit was up 11.8% to £2.84bn, while group sales hit £51.8bn, up from £46.6bn last year.

Joint property ventures with British Land and the British Airways Pension Fund completed in 2007 brought in aggregate proceeds of £1.2bn, and a third JV with Prudential was completed in February on a 4.8% yield, bringing in a further £207m. Tesco said it was in discussions with several other “potential counterparties”.