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• Tesco PLC said yesterday that its first half net profit was the equivalent of $1.64 billion, up from $1.61 billion during the same period a year ago. First half revenue, excluding the value-added tax, was up 9.3 percent to $44.3 billion. In the UK, where Tesco has been meeting strong competition of late, same-store sales were up 3.1 percent.

• Drugstore chain Walgreen said that its September sales were up 10.3 percent to $5.35 billion, on same-store sales that were up 5.3 percent. The increases were attributed to the chain’s program for in-store flu vaccinations, more than 2.4 million of which have been given this year (double 2008).
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