Tesco reported a 13% slump in profits to £3.45bn on a 1.3% increase in sales to £72.36bn for the year to 23 February 2013, but IT boosted its banking and retail operations.
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The retailer spent heavily on moving its banking systems when it moved to an off–the-shelf Fiserv platform in October 2010.
To become a full service bank it then had to migrate services provided via other financial services firms to its own core banking platform. But it experienced a period of downtime during the migration, during which some customers were unable to access their accounts.
In May 2011 it completed the migration of 2.8 million credit card customers to its Fiserv platform from RBS systems.
“This is a significant point in the bank's development, having built a robust and scalable system infrastructure within a three-and-a-half year period,” said Tesco's financial statement.
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“Tesco Direct is a key part of our multichannel strategy going forward, but its path to profitability has progressed less quickly than anticipated. It is a clear priority for the year ahead – and the one which is receiving most of our focus in this area – to ensure that we have a profitable, scalable model before we look to accelerate growth,” said Tesco in its results statement.
The firm described how it was harnessing big data to increase sales: “Using insights from Dunnhumby, over 60% of our entire food range is now differentiated by socio-demographic groupings across all of our stores.”