Tesco barely in profit as it prepares US exit

Tesco to exit US; cost of doing so reduces full-year profits by 96 percent

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- Tesco PLC, Britain's largest supermarket operator, says it is looking to sell its U.S. operations after failing to make an impression over six years.

Tesco said Wednesday that net profit for the year dropped 96 percent to 120 million pounds ($183 million) following a 1.2 billion pounds writedown to exit its Fresh & Easy brand in the U.S. It also took an 804 million pounds writedown on its U.K. property portfolio.

Fresh & Easy has nearly 200 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.

Tesco says it is also leaving Japan and taking a more measured approach to growth in China.

Chief Executive Philip Clarke told the BBC that the decision to leave the United States was right for shareholders and that the company was looking for a single buyer.

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