Tesco has reported that retail operating profits across Ireland and the UK are down 11.5% in its interim financial report for the first half of 2022.

The supermarket chain posted an operating profit of £1,169 million, compared to a profit of £1.318 million for the same period last year, and said that the losses can be attributed to “post-pandemic normalisation” and the ongoing rise in global inflation.

Net debt has also been reduced by £500 million since the start of the year.

Retail sales are also up by 3.2% compared to the same period last year.

A “strong growth” in fuel sales has also been recorded in the report.

Tesco expects a full year retail adjusted operating profit of between £2.4 billion and £2.5 billion.

However, Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy has said that the company is “inflating a little bit less and a little bit later” in order to give its customers the best value possible.

He said:

“Customers are seeking out the quality and value of our own brand ranges as they work to make their money go further, whether they are switching from branded products, between categories or cutting back on eating out.

“As we look to the second half, cost inflation remains significant, and it is too early to predict how customers will adapt to ongoing changes in the market.

“Despite these uncertainties, our priorities are clear.

“We have the right long-term strategy and we will continue to balance the needs of all of our stakeholders.

“Most importantly, we will stay focused on delivering value for our customers and supporting them in every way we can.”