UK supermarket chain, Tesco broke the £1bn (US$1.4bn) barrier for the first time on  Tuesday as the group announced record annual pre-tax profits up 13% to £1.05bn.The group said that growing profits on the back of increased sales had boosted its performance. Sales increased by 12% to £22.8bn over the period.

In the UK, which accounts for about 87% of the group’s turnover, sales grew over the year by 9% to £19.9bn and like-for-like sales grew by 5%. Higher margin sales on non-food items had been a contributory factor to improved sales figures.

The company said that international profit was up by 48% to £74m with total international sales now accounting for 13% of total profit.  The food retailer reported that its stores in Central Europe had moved into profit, while it was ahead of its development plans to extend its business in Asia. The company is currently researching opportunities to take the brand to China and Japan, and is close to starting operations in Malaysia., the company’s internet outlet achieved sales of £237m but operated at a loss of £9m. The company however intends to continue investing in the venture.

The company said the current foot and mouth crisis had not adversely affected business, but it was contributing to higher costs of its operations.