The UK supermarket chain Tesco has revealed that its launch of telecoms services has helped boost first-half profits. The company’s sales were up 12.2% to GBP16.5 billion in the six months to 14 August, with GBP13.1 billion of this coming from its UK operations. Pre-tax profit increased 24.4% to GBP822 million. Tesco introduced fixed line and mobile resale services late last year, and launched a low-cost unlimited access broadband internet service last month. The retailer says it now has 650,000 telecoms customers, ‘with considerable scope for growth’. Online shopping and a group-wide cost-cutting programme were also contributors to the company’s good results.