LONDON: The UK's dominant supermarket chain Tesco has announced underlying first half profits of £1.15 billion ($2.17bn; €1.7bn), up 12.5% over the same period last year.

The results were slightly ahead of analysts' expectations and put the group on course for a record full-year total of £2.5bn.

Tesco says international sales boosted the numbers, with profits at overseas businesses rising 21% in the six months to August 26.

Almost 57% of the company's sales space is now outside the UK. It is poised to enter the difficult US market next year with a number of West Coast convenience stores.

Worldwide, Tesco expects to create 20,000 new jobs this year.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff