UK supermarket giant Tesco has surprised analysts by announcing plans to invest an extra £1.7 billion ($3.1bn; €2.5bn) in its business.

The company -- Britain's leading supermarket chain and a growing presence on the international scene -- will raise the cash via an £810 million share placement plus property sales and a boost in working capital.

It will use the money to strengthen its grip on the British market and expand internationally. In the UK the group will construct more hypermarkets as it anticipates a surge in sales of non-food goods. It will also build more smaller convenience stores and expand services such as banking.

The unexpected announcement follows news of a better-than-expected Christmas for Tesco. Sales in the seven weeks to January 3 were up 15.4% in Britain and 22% internationally.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff