The largest profit ever made by any retailer based in Britain was reported Wednesday by Tesco, the nation’s largest supermarket group. Nor is this likely to be a laurel on which Tesco will rest: there are still “many years” of domestic expansion left, assures chief executive Terry Leahy.

Reporting annual profits 14% up to £1.2 billion ($1.72bn; €1.96bn) for fiscal ended February 23, Leahy boasted: “There are lots of places where customers want a Tesco store and there is lots of space for bigger stores. We have more than enough growth [potential] in the UK.”

But there is no pleasing the entrail-rakers, few of whom would understand the onus of executive responsibility even if fired at them by a Cruise missile. While eulogising the company’s dynamic organic expansion, some analysts expressed concern at the group’s less swift international growth.

Tesco, which has 47% of its sales space overseas, hiked its international division profits by 61% to £119 million despite declining sales growth outside the UK. This Tesco blames on the fragile economies in central Europe and South-East Asia.

Data sourced from: The Times (London); additional content by WARC staff