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From the ET…

One member of the audience suggested that, if the company did sanction the demolition of the station building170407ntesco1483680full.jpg illegally, they should be forced to rebuild it.A transport assessor, Lee Woods, told the meeting he felt the superstore would lead to traffic problems in the area.

He added: “They have agreed that there will be serious problems at the junction of Byres Road and University Road with queues as long as 100 cars.

“They are considering getting rid of the pedestrian phase at the junction and would look at introducing pedestrian islands.

“That would allow pedestrians to cross while the traffic is still moving and I think that is clearly not satisfactory.”

Tesco’s plan, for a site at Beith Street, covers 9950 square metres.

The proposal includes 690 student flats, 220 houses and 500 parking spaces.

Tills ring up £4800-a-minute profit

Supermarket giant Tesco today posted record profits of £2.55billion – equivalent to more than £4800 a minute.

The underlying pre-tax profits for the year to February 24 underlined the store’s dominance in the sector.

The figures, much in line with expectations, were more than 13% ahead of the previous year.

The Cheshunt-based company also coped with recovering competition from Asda and Sainsbury’s to increase like-for-like UK sales by 5.6%.

It recorded sales of £35.6bn across its 1500 stores in the UK.

And gains following pension changes in April 2006 took the overall pre-tax profits for the year to £2.65bn.

The profits sparked protests from Friends of the Earth, which said the time had come to “curb the power of the Tesco juggernaut”. Campaigner Vicki Hird said: “The supermarket giant’s market dominance is bad news as it allows it to dictate conditions to suppliers and to drive High Street stores out of existence.”

The Competition Commission is also investigating the grocery sector amid claims that the larger stores are using their powers to squeeze out smaller retailers.

Tesco’s gathering strength in areas such as DVDs, clothing and household items was shown when it said its UK non-food business had grown sales by 11.6%, despite a tougher domestic consumer environment. The group’s non-food sales reached £7.6 bn – 25% of UK sales in total.

The company saw strong growth of electronics, DIY, toys and sports goods from its larger Tesco Extra stores.

Sales in its clothing range also jumped, by 16%.

Tesco, which uses underlying pre-tax profits to measure its performance, posted overall UK trading profits of £1.91 bn – 9.2% up on the last year.

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