Tesco reviewing slow-growing US operation

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Associated Press

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 3:32 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 4:04 AM

LONDON (AP) — Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, is reviewing options for its slow-growing U.S. venture, Fresh & Easy.

The company also announced Wednesday that the chief executive of Fresh & Easy, Tim Mason, is leaving.

Chief Executive Philip Clarke said Fresh & Easy's "journey to scale and acceptable returns will take too long relative to other opportunities." The unit's like-for-like sales, which do not include new stores and space, grew less than 2 percent in the third quarter.

Clarke has been concentrating on Tesco's U.K. base, where its dominant market share has recently slipped a bit. Like-for-like sales in the home market, excluding petrol, were down 0.7 percent in the quarter.

Tesco shares rose 4 percent to 339.75 pence as trading opened in London.

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