Bloomberg News

Tesco First-Half Profit Gains on International Businesses

October 05, 2011

Celeste Perri

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Tesco Plc, the biggest U.K. retailer, said first-half profit climbed 3.7 percent as gains in Asia and a reduced U.S. loss helped offset a sluggish domestic business.

So-called trading profit, a measure which excludes property gains, rose to 1.77 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) in the six months ended Aug. 27, from 1.71 billion pounds a year earlier, the Cheshunt, England-based company said today in a statement. Sales at U.K. stores open a year or more fell 0.6 percent, excluding fuel and value-added tax.

Tesco gets about two-thirds of revenue from its domestic market, where it cut prices on 3,000 everyday items such as bread and milk last month to help reverse four years of market- share erosion. The grocer is also focusing on improving returns on capital in its 13 international markets and said its plan to break even in the U.S. in fiscal 2013 is showing “promising early results.”

The company said it is “broadly comfortable with current market consensus forecasts” for fiscal 2012, adjusted for a provision at its banking business. The company had a 57 million- pound increase in its provision for payment protection insurance at Tesco Bank.

Tesco’s trading profit is from continuing operations and excludes results from its Japan unit, which Tesco has decided to sell.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net


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