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Tesco Announces First Fall In Profits In Nearly Two Decades

Published on Apr 17 2013 11:05 AM in Retail

Tesco Announces First Fall In Profits In Nearly Two Decades

Tesco has reported a 51.5% fall in pre-tax profit to £1.96 billion for the year ended 23 February 2013.

The chain’s group sales, including VAT, increased by 1.3% to £72.4bn.

In its statement, the retailer confirmed that it will exit its loss making operations Fresh & Easy in the US, incurring a £1 billion write-off that severely impacted on its profit for they year.

In addition, the supermarket chain downgraded the value of its property in Britain by £804 million and took a write-down on its businesses in Poland, Czech Republic and Turkey of half a billion pounds.

The company also reported a 14.5 per cent fall in its underlying full-year profit following the cost of its turnaround plan for its home market, which was launched after the group issued a surprise profit warning in January last year.

Although the company does not break down its figures for Ireland, Tesco Ireland said its online grocery shopping grew by 16% during the year.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Philip Clark, said, “The announcements made today are natural consequences of the strategic changes we first began over a year ago and which conclude today. With profound and rapid change in the way consumers live their lives, our objective is to be the best multichannel retailer for customers. Our plan to 'Build a Better Tesco' is on track and I am pleased with the real progress in the UK.  We have already made substantial improvements to our customers' shopping experience, which are starting to be reflected in a better performance.

“We have set the business on the right track to deliver realistic, sustainable and attractive returns and long-term growth for shareholders. The consequences are non-cash write-offs relating to the United States, from which we today confirm our decision to exit, and for UK property investments, which we will not pursue because of our fundamentally different approach to space.”

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